CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic Reach Goal of Delivering One Million Flu Vaccinations
WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Fulfilling a commitment to keep families healthy and make it easier to get a flu shot, CVS/pharmacy, the nation's largest retail pharmacy, and MinuteClinic, the largest retail health care clinic in the U.S., announced that they have surpassed a goal of delivering one million fu vaccinations during this Fall's flu shot season.
The companies, both divisions of CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS), launched an integrated campaign on Oct. 1 which provided vaccinations to consumers at 7,500 scheduled flu shot clinic events in select CVS/pharmacy stores as well as flu shots on demand seven days a week at more than 550 MinuteClinic health care centers located in 27 states.
MinuteClinic will continue to provide flu shots to adults and children during the CDC's National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 8-14) and on a daily basis during the holidays and throughout the flu season which can run as late as April. To find the nearest MinuteClinic, go to www.minuteclinic.com.
"We are delighted that through the combined efforts of CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic we have delivered more than one million vaccinations to children and adults, which is the best step to ensure protection against the flu," said Papatya Tankut, R.Ph. Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services at CVS/pharmacy.
However, a nationwide survey conducted by CVS in September found that only half of adults (50 percent) planned to get a flu shot this year. Among those who do regularly get a shot, 55 percent wait until a normally scheduled visit to their doctor or health care provider.*
"Right now, flu activity in most parts of the country is sporadic according to the CDC, so there is still time to obtain a flu shot," said Donna Haugland, Chief Nursing Officer for MinuteClinic. "But those who wait too long, or choose not to get vaccinated at all risk time away from work, school and other activities and the possibility of hospitalization or an even more serious outcome."
Those at highest risk for the flu include individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease; women who are pregnant; health care workers and young children. MinuteClinic offers vaccinations to children over 18 months in most cases. Preservative-free children's vaccinations are available at most MinuteClinic locations while supplies last.
This year, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has endorsed influenza vaccination for all children ages 6 months to 18 years and public health agencies have reinforced the importance of protecting children during the flu season. In some cases, local departments of health are also recommending flu vaccine for certain populations. For example, in New Jersey, a new law requires children ages 6 to 59 months who are enrolled in a licensed child-care center or pre-school facility to receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine by December 31.
The CVS flu shot survey found that 53 percent of adults with children under 18 in their household plan to get them a flu shot with the rate increasing to 60 percent for those with children under 12.
Flu shots at MinuteClinic are $30 and may be covered in whole or in part by insurance. MinuteClinic health care centers are staffed by masters- prepared, board-certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants who specialize in family health care.
* These findings are from a survey conducted on the telephone Sept. 4-7, 2008 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults 18 years and older. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2% among the total sample. Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, N.J. conducted the fieldwork.