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Wal-Mart To Offer Free Immunizations
Dear Members and Friends -

Now that Wal-Mart is promoting mass medical experimentation on our children, it is high time we write them a letter expressing our outrage of their latest public relations fiasco. Please share this with your friends and family.

Ingri Wal-Mart To Offer Free Immunizations For Kids - Some Docs Skeptical Fox 8-1-1

If your preschooler does not want to go back-to-school shopping at Wal-Mart, he or she is probably just afraid of the needles.

The retailer is teaming with local health officials in 16 states to give free immunizations in Wal-Mart parking lots. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers with records of previous immunizations are eligible for the shots, which will be administered by the health officials.

Wal-Mart sees the program as a way to reach children who might otherwise go without immunization. As many as one in five American children are not properly immunized. Still, many pediatricians worry about the effects of such a program.

"If they separate the immunization process from the rest of the medical care that children need, they are doing a disservice," Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and president of the national Children's Health Fund, said.

Jane Siegel, a pediatrician at the Children's Medical Center of Dallas, echoed the importance of professional health care.

"When we are not in an active outbreak, we like to really emphasize every child having a medical home," Siegel said.

Wal-Mart's first foray into immunizations began earlier this year in Arkansas, where more than 300 children were given shots at 20 locations between April and June, according to Wal-Mart spokeswoman Karen Burk.

"It's a little bit better than nothing," Redlener conceded.

One industry analyst saw the opportunity as a chance to protect both the health of children and the corporate health of Wal-Mart.

"I think it makes sense because you want to get as many people in your aisles as possible, and convenience is so critical to it," said Bob Buchanan, a Wal-Mart analyst with A.G. Edwards in St. Louis. "This would be a good move, not only from Wal-Mart's point of view, but also from a public health standpoint."

Some stores in Florida and Illinois offered free immunizations last week. Select Wal-Marts in California, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois and Utah plan to offer the program during the next month.