Walgreens Sales Rise as Vaccinations Improve Prescriptions Business

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Sales and profit strengthened in the latest quarter for Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., as the vaccination campaign that the company has contributed to helped ease pandemic conditions for its stores’ pharmacy and retail businesses.

The drugstore chain, based in Deerfield, Ill., said it has now given more than 25 million Covid-19 vaccinations. Walk-in appointments, employer partnerships and mobile clinics have contributed to those efforts, Walgreens said.

Vaccinations have contributed to a recovery in Walgreens’s pharmacy operations and have helped support front-of-store sales, or sales of nonpharmacy items. Prescriptions filled rose by 9.8% in the latest quarter on a comparable basis, including a 6% contribution from Covid-19 vaccines. Improved store traffic played a part in 1.7% comparable growth in retail sales, the company said.

Shares climbed 2.6% in premarket trading.

In the U.S., the vaccinated share of the population has climbed less quickly in recent weeks as the Americans who were most eager to get the shots have largely been able to do so. Last week, the White House said that the country will fall short of President Biden’s goal for seven in 10 Americans to get at least one dose of vaccine by July 4. The goal has been met for people aged 30 and older.