I saw two days ago where Walgreens was bragging about its February pharmacy sales having increased 6.7% over those of February 2013, in part because they administered 700,000 more flu shots than the 7 million shots they gave last year in the same month.
Then today, I noticed that Walgreens sent us a letter addressed to my youngest son:
Dear ____ _____, As part of the regular monitoring of our vaccination program at Walgreens, we would like to confirm certain information with you about your or a family member’s vaccination in the past year at a Walgreens pharmacy.
We are sending you this letter because to date we have been unsuccessful contacting you at the phone number we have on file. It is important that you call Walgreens corporate pharmacy team at 1-800-862-2942 at your earliest convenience…
My son just turned 13. Here is Walgreens trying to get my minor son to give them a call. It is bullshit that they tried to contact him “at the phone number we have on file,” because that is my number, and they never tried to call me.
So I inquired. The woman answering the phone told me my son was given a flu vaccine approved only for adults 18 and over. I was with him the day he got that shot, and I got one then as well. So did my 9-year-old daughter.
The Walgreens woman put on an act as if they wanted to contact my son out of caution and concern for him. Exactly the opposite is true. She wanted to know if he had had any adverse reactions or symptoms after being given the shot. I refused to tell her. I think my lawyer might be more qualified to ascertain whether my kids suffered any adverse effects after being given the wrong vaccine by a company that allegedly runs one of the largest professional pharmacy operation in the U.S.
I asked the Walgreens woman how their Richmond store managed to give out the wrong stuff, and she put the blame right on the local staff, saying “the pharmacist there just gave him an inappropriate vaccine.”
This also turns out to be bullshit. A 45-second Google search turned up news articles reporting that Walgreens administered adult flu shots to children in both the Charlotte, N.C. and Atlanta metro regions. Walgreens officials refused to give out any meaningful information to the Charlotte reporters, and in Atlanta the company tried to leave the impression that only a handful of its stores were involved.
Here’s what I think: Walgreens pharmacies all across Houston and Atlanta and Charlotte and probably all cross the country were so focused on making more money by pumping out more flu shots that they paid no attention whatsoever to the variety of vaccine they were able to get their corporate hands on.
Now they’re trying to quietly get a reading on just how big a class-action lawsuit they may be in for.
Here’s what else I think: They deserve to be hit hard. Personal injury attorneys, start your engines.