Wal-Mart to Offer Free Immunizations to Kids
Indianapolis Star; B5
Wal-Mart is providing free immunizations at select locations in 16 states. The company will be opening up parking lots at its stores to allow local health officials to provide free immunizations to preschoolers, toddlers, and infants. The vaccines and staff will be provided by the local health departments. The company is touting the program as a way for health officials to reach families that might otherwise go unprotected from preventable diseases. According to Amy Walker, a health nurse in Grant County, Ind., shots will only be given to children who can show that they had previously received immunizations; any child without a doctor will be given the name of a doctor or referred to the county health department. Nevertheless, there has been some criticism of the company's actions. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and president of the national Children's Health Fund, noted, "If Wal-Mart can help reinforce medical homes, they are doing a service. If they separate the immunization process from the rest of the medical care that children need, they are doing a disservice."