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Walgreens (WBA) Starts COVID Jabs for 3-Year Olds & Above

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Walgreens Boots Alliance WBA continues to carry on its COVID-19 vaccine administration campaign in full swing. While COVID cases are surging all over again, the company has initiated the administration of Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for the younger population, specifically children aged 3 years and older.

This vaccine administration at select locations nationwide follows FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which states that children as young as six months are eligible to receive a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This came on the heels of the previous EUA for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 years.

According to Walgreens Boots, appointments will be available beginning Jun 25, and can be scheduled at Walgreens.com, through the Walgreens app, or by calling 1-800-Walgreens. Earlier appointments will be made available at select locations based on vaccine delivery in the coming days.

WBA's COVID Update So Far

Walgreens Boots continues to serve communities with COVID testing and vaccinations to fight the pandemic. In the United States, the company administered 11.8 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the fiscal second quarter and over 62 million to date.

As far as the latest COVID vaccine campaign for youngsters is concerned, the company expects it to be successful as it already has expertise in pediatric immunization. In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services expanded the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, authorizing licensed pharmacists to administer recommended vaccinations to children aged 3 and older. At that time, Walgreens had administered the recommended vaccinations to millions of children and adolescents for COVID and flu, as well as other immunizations.

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In terms of testing, the Omicron wave in December and January also drove elevated levels of COVID testing both in-store and at home. According to WBA, it completed 6.6 million in-store COVID tests during fiscal Q2 and over 27 million till the end of March 2022. In addition to the company’s drive-thru testing at no cost to patients, it launched convenient at-home COVID PCR test collection kits with LabCorp at no cost nationwide.

Walgreens Boots noted that this is particularly important for uninsured, socially vulnerable and medically underserved populations, who continue to be among those most impacted by COVID-19.

Share Price Performance

Over the past six months, Walgreens Boots has underperformed the industry. The stock has lost 24.3% compared with the industry’s 5.3% decline.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Walgreens Boots currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Alkermes plc ALKS, AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN and Medpace Holdings, Inc. MEDP.

Alkermes has an estimated long-term growth rate of 25.1%. Alkermes’ earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 350.5%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alkermes has outperformed the industry in the past year. ALKS has gained 14.4% against the industry’s 45.5% decline in the said period.

AMN Healthcare has a long-term earnings growth rate of 1.1%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 15.6%, on average. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

AMN Healthcare has outperformed its industry in the past year. AMN has gained 3% against the industry’s 54.9% fall.

Medpace has a historical growth rate of 27.3%. Medpace’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 17.1%. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2.

Medpace has outperformed its industry in the past year. MEDP has declined 23.8% compared with the industry’s 54.9% fall.


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