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CVS/pharmacy, MinuteClinic promoting importance of flu shots

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are reminding families during National Influenza Vaccination Week about the importance of receiving their flu vaccinations, and are partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the NFL Retired Players Association to increase awareness about the benefits of annual flu vaccination.

This year’s National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 2 to 8. It was established by the CDC to annually highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination during and after the holiday season into January and beyond.

CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic began providing flu shots at the end of August and all of its pharmacy and walk-in medical clinic locations continue to offer vaccinations every day with no appointment needed.

"National Influenza Vaccination Week is an ideal time to remind those who have not received their flu shot yet that a vaccination is the best way to prevent getting sick with the flu and that there is still time to get vaccinated if they have not already done so," stated Papatya Tankut, VP pharmacy affairs at CVS/pharmacy. "CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants are available every day at all of our locations to help patients on their path to better health with a flu vaccination."

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza disease. Yearly vaccination is needed because flu viruses are always changing so a new vaccine is produced each year to protect against the currently circulating influenza viruses. Also, immunity received from the influenza vaccination declines over time so an annual flu shot provides optimal protection.

The NFL Retired Players Association is supporting this partnership by promoting awareness during National Influenza Vaccination Week and by having legacy and Hall of Fame players reach out to communities and fans nationally. 

Former Minnesota Viking and Pro Football Hall of Famer Carl Eller received his flu shot at a CVS/pharmacy in Minneapolis to demonstrate the importance of getting protected during flu season. Eller is the president and founder of the NFL Retired Players Association.

CVS/pharmacy will also promote flu vaccine awareness during National Influenza Vaccination Week on its Facebook and Twitter social media channels.

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.

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Banning tobacco displays may curb youth smoking, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Hiding tobacco product displays at the point of sale may help reduce smoking among young people, a new study suggests.

The study, conducted by RTI International and Tarheel Technologies and published in the January 2013 issue of the journal Pediatrics, examined the behaviors of more than 1,200 smokers and likely smokers ages 13 years to 17 years in a virtual convenience store in which tobacco products were either hidden behind a cabinet or openly displayed along with tobacco ads.

The study found that while 85.2% of subjects in stores with visible tobacco products were aware of them, only 32% of those in stores with hidden tobacco products were, and those shopping in the stores with tobacco products hidden were "significantly" less likely to purchase them.

"These results provide support for policies that would ban the display of tobacco products at the point of sale," RTI analyst and lead study author Annice Kim said. "We found that enclosing tobacco product displays significantly lowers the likelihood that youth will try to purchase tobacco in the virtual store."

At the same time, while the display of products themselves had a significant effect on purchasing attempts, banning tobacco ads had a minimal effect, according to the study.

"In the U.S., tobacco companies spend most of their advertising dollars promoting cigarettes in retail stores," Kim said. "Open displays of tobacco products normalize smoking and stimulate unplanned purchases."


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Study: Black Friday promotional spend down 15% as retailers shift to mobile, social media outlets

BY Michael Johnsen

SOLON, Ohio — Overall, promotional trade spend for Black Friday was down 15% for 2012 compared to 2011, according to an ECRM report released last week.

Many retailers are strategically shifting their focus to social and mobile. However, the substantial growth in mobile applications from both retailers and third parties may have given way to inaccurate data and tedious functionality that has frustrated the consumer and resulted in lost opportunities. The same is true with social media, the company noted. "With social media, the conversation can easily lose focus, and the intended message becomes unclear."

And Black Friday deals might not be the bargains you thought they were, according to the study, which examined Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Some products featuring blowout prices could have been bought for less money earlier in the year. For example, Kmart promoted a 32-in. LED television for $229.99 over Black Friday, but had been selling the identical product for $198.88 in October. And 87% of products advertised on both Cyber Monday and Black Friday were more expensive on Cyber Monday, ECRM reported. 

For the complete report, click here

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