CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic announced their "You vs. Flu" campaign today, an initiative to help customers beat the flu this year. Flu vaccinations are now available at all CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide with direct billing to many insurance plans and and Fluzone High-Dose for patients 65 and over.
Headquartered in Woonsocket, CVS/pharmacy has more than 7,200 locations and MinuteClinic has nearly 600 locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores. To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/51328-cvs-minuteclinic-flu-shot
Flu shots are being provided by CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants every day, including evenings and weekends, with no appointment necessary. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages six months and older get a flu shot as soon as vaccine is available, including those who were vaccinated last flu season.
In addition to 7,800 combined retail locations, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are making flu shots more accessible this year by providing direct medical billing for many national and regional health plans that will cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot.
A flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic costs $29.99. Many health plans are accepted, including Medicare Part B and TRICARE, which may cover the full cost of a flu shot. Customers will receive a $5 CVS gift card if any part of their cost of a flu shot is not covered by insurance at most locations.
"The CDC reports that nearly 1 in 5 adults received a flu shot in a retail setting last flu season, so our goal is to make our pharmacies and retail health clinics more convenient and accessible than ever to receive a flu shot," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark. "Our 'You vs. Flu' campaign is supported by more than 20,000 immunizing health care professionals who will vaccinate patients every day, no appointment needed."
The Fluzone® High-Dose vaccine, available at all locations for people ages 65 and older, is designed to provide better protection from influenza to this age group, which has a greater risk for developing a severe illness from the flu.
Each year, influenza causes between 3,600 to 49,000 deaths in the United States, and more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized for flu-related complications annually. This season's vaccine is designed to protect against three influenza viruses, including an influenza B virus and two influenza A viruses, H1N1 and H3N2.
"A flu shot can reduce the chance of becoming infected by influenza by up to 70%. Because it takes about two weeks to achieve full immunization after being vaccinated, a flu shot is recommended as soon as vaccine is available," said Paulette Thabault, ANP-BC, MS, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer, MinuteClinic. "Even if you received a flu shot last year, immunity from influenza declines over time, so a flu shot is still necessary to provide you with the best protection against catching the flu."
MinuteClinic flu shots are administered in a private exam room and CVS/pharmacy flu shots are conducted behind a privacy screen in the pharmacy area. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants can vaccinate patients who are 18 months or older except in Massachusetts, where the minimum age is 24 months. The minimum age for vaccination by a pharmacist varies by state. In Rhode Island, patients must be 18 or older to receive the shot at CVS and the closest location to Woonsocket that provides the service is on Admiral Street in Providence.
"CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants are always available to speak to patients about ways to stay healthy this flu season, including providing advice on over-the-counter remedies available at CVS/pharmacy to treat cold and flu symptoms," said Papatya Tankut, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services, CVS/pharmacy. "Receiving a flu shot and preventing the spread of germs by frequently washing your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based cleanser, covering your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, avoiding contact with people who have the flu, and staying home from work or school if you do have the flu are all easy ways to help keep you and your loved ones healthy during flu season."
CVS.com/flu also provides consumers with information about flu vaccinations and health tips for preventing the flu, as well as an option to schedule a CVS/pharmacy flu shot appointment at a time and location that is convenient for them.
The above press release was sent out by PRNewswire via COMTEX/ and edited by Sandy Phaneuf.