Monday, August 23, 2010

CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic Offer 'Flu Shots Your Way' at All Locations Nationwide

/PRNewswire/ -- CVS/pharmacy, the nation's leading retail pharmacy, and MinuteClinic, the largest retail health care clinic provider in the U.S., today announced that flu vaccinations are now available at all of its locations nationwide. CVS/pharmacy has more than 7,000 locations and MinuteClinic has more than 500 locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores.

For the first time, customers will be able to make an appointment to receive a flu shot from a CVS pharmacist at the time, date and location of their choice by using My Flu Shot Scheduler, a new online resource available at

My Flu Shot Scheduler offers unparalleled access to flu vaccinations by allowing consumers to make vaccination appointments with a CVS pharmacist that are convenient for them based on their zip code or city/town, as well as the number of people in their family who want to be vaccinated. The exclusive online scheduler will also identify the times and dates of CVS/pharmacy walk-in flu clinics. My Flu Shot Scheduler is also available by calling toll-free 1-888-FLU-SHOT or 1-888-88-GRIPE (Spanish).

This year, only one vaccine will be required for protection against three influenza strains, including the H1N1 virus and the seasonal H3N2 virus. In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending for the first time that anyone ages six months or older get a flu shot, an expansion from its previous recommendations that certain risk groups be vaccinated.

"With this year's 'all-in-one' flu vaccine and the CDC's recommendation that everyone be vaccinated against influenza, it is more important than ever that customers be provided with convenient access to a flu shot," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark. "Through our 'Flu Shots Your Way' campaign, consumers can make an appointment for a flu shot or take advantage of a walk-in flu clinic at their local CVS/pharmacy, or visit a MinuteClinic for a flu shot any day of the week with no appointment needed."

Each year, influenza causes approximately 36,000 deaths in the United States. 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 from influenza after being vaccinated, a flu shot is recommended as early as possible.

"The best protection against the flu is a flu shot. Even if you received the H1N1 vaccine earlier this year, you should still receive this year's 'all-in-one' seasonal flu shot," said Paulette Thabault, RNC, MS, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer, MinuteClinic. "Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness, so getting a flu shot is an effective way to protect both yourself and those around you."

"In addition to getting a flu shot, consumers can help prevent the spread of germs this flu season by remembering to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based cleanser, cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue, avoid contact with people who are sick with the flu, and stay home from school or work if you have the flu," said Papatya Tankut, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services, CVS/pharmacy. "If you do catch a cold or the flu, CVS pharmacists are available to help you find the right products to treat your symptoms."

MinuteClinic nurse practitioners can vaccinate patients who are 18 months or older except in Massachusetts, where the minimum age is 24 months. The minimum age for vaccinations by a pharmacist varies depending on the state. Check with your local CVS/pharmacy or visit's My Flu Shot Scheduler to determine minimum vaccination age by state. MinuteClinic flu shots are administered in a private exam room and CVS/pharmacy will use privacy screens for patients receiving flu shots from pharmacists in the pharmacy area.

A flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic costs $29.95 and vaccinations are covered by many insurance plans. CVS ExtraCare cardholders who receive a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic will also receive a one-time 10% discount on non-pharmacy purchases up to $100 at CVS/pharmacy, except where otherwise prohibited by law.

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