WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic have announced that flu vaccinations are now available at all of their locations nationwide with more than 20,000 immunizing healthcare professionals at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic available to provide the preventive healthcare service.
"Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step you can take to protect yourself and your family from getting sick with influenza," stated Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "Flu season can be unpredictable, and because it takes about two weeks after being vaccinated to develop full protection, a flu shot is recommended as soon as vaccine is available."
The 2012 seasonal flu vaccine includes protection against the H1N1 influenza strain, as well as two new strains: H3N2 and a B strain. Here are the Top 5" reasons you should get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic this season.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone who is at least 6 months old get a flu vaccine every year to protect against catching the flu.
"Influenza causes between 3,600 to 49,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations in the United States annually. Receiving a flu shot can reduce the chance of becoming infected by up to 70%," added Papatya Tankut, VP pharmacy professional services at CVS/pharmacy.
More than 7,300 CVS/pharmacy stores and nearly 600 MinuteClinic sites inside select CVS/pharmacy locations are providing flu shots every day, including evening and weekends, no appointment needed.
This flu season, customers will receive a 20%-off CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass when they get a flu shot at CVS or MinuteClinic. The shopping pass can be used with CVS/pharmacy's ExtraCare card to save 20% off nonpharmacy purchases up to $100.
A seasonal flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic costs $31.99. Many health plans, including Medicare Part B and Tricare, typically cover the full cost of a flu shot. Direct medical billing for many national and regional health plans that cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot is also available.
In addition to the regular seasonal flu shot, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic will offer patients the option to receive Fluzone High-Dose or Fluzone Intradermal vaccine at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic this season.
The high-dose vaccine contains four times the antigens as the seasonal flu vaccine. It is intended for people 65 years and older to provide better protection for this age group, who are at greater risk of developing severe illness from the flu. The Intradermal vaccine is approved for patients ages 18 to 64 years and has a 90% smaller needle than the regular flu shot. It injects the vaccine just under the skin instead of into the muscle.
"In addition to flu shots, CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners are available to provide a number of other vaccinations, including pneumonia, whooping cough and several others," stated Paulette Thabault, chief nurse practitioner officer at MinuteClinic.