WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of the increased risks that seniors have of developing health complications from the flu, pneumonia, shingles and other illnesses, CVS/pharmacy(®) and MinuteClinic(®) have declared September to be Senior Vaccination Month. Because people's immune systems weaken as they age, it is important that adults ages 65 years and older stay up to date on their vaccinations. CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be raising awareness about the importance of vaccinations for their senior patients throughout the month.
All 7,700 CVS/pharmacy locations and all 900 MinuteClinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores can administer vaccinations to patients to help protect them against the flu and other illnesses every day with no appointment needed, including evening and weekends. In addition to flu and pneumonia vaccinations, other shots such as the shingles vaccine are available at CVS/pharmacy and Hepatitis vaccines are available at MinuteClinic.(1)
"Getting vaccinated is an important step you can take to protect yourself and your family, especially if you're a senior and at higher risk," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark. "While people of any age should receive their recommended vaccines, seniors are particularly vulnerable when they don't get vaccinated. That is why CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are making it as convenient as possible for seniors as well as other customers to receive their vaccines and stay on their path to better health."
In addition to the regular flu shot that is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for everyone who is at least six months old, all CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations also offer the Fluzone(®) High-Dose vaccine for people 65 years and older. Fluzone High-Dose contains four times the antigens as the seasonal flu vaccine and is designed to provide a stronger immune response in people 65 years and older.
A recent consumer survey by CVS/pharmacy showed that three in five adults in the U.S. are not aware of the importance of the high dose flu vaccine in preventing the flu for adults ages 65 and up. The survey also showed that nearly one in three Americans say they have a role in helping an elderly family member or loved one make health care decisions, including whether to get a flu shot.
"It is estimated that one in six people in the U.S. are expected to catch the flu this season and getting vaccinated is the most effective way to be protected," said Nancy Gagliano, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, MinuteClinic. "Because the start of flu season is unpredictable from year to year, it is recommended that people get their flu shots as soon as vaccine is available."
CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic can directly bill many national and regional health insurance plans that cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot. Many vaccines, including the regular flu shot, are considered a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act, and so are fully covered and available at no cost through most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B.
Customers who get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic receive a CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass that can be used with the CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare(®) Rewards card to save 20 percent off non-pharmacy purchases up to a maximum value of $20.(2)
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with 7,700 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores in the U.S. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at http://info.cvscaremark.com.
MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the United States in 2000 and is the largest provider of retail clinics with more than 860 locations in 29 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to patient demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has provided care through more than 21 million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the only retail health care provider to receive three consecutive accreditations from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.
(1) Certain immunizations have age and location restrictions. Flu shots are available when immunizing pharmacist, MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant is on duty, while supplies last.
(2 )Shopping pass good at CVS/pharmacy only and cannot be redeemed at MinuteClinic. Restrictions apply. See CVS.com/flu for details. Shopping pass cannot be issued or redeemed in AR, NJ and NY. Shopping pass cannot be issued at MinuteClinic locations in MA.
Brent Burkhardt, TBC
SOURCE CVS Caremark