Retail News Breaks Archives
CVS makes its flu shot pitch to consumers
August 20th, 2012
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic have begun offering flu shots at all of their locations nationwide. And this year, the CVS Caremark subsidiaries are spelling out the reasons why they're the place for consumers to go to get vaccinated.
The company said Monday that flu immunizations are available at CVS drug stores and MinuteClinic retail health clinics every day on a walk-in basis. The 2012 seasonal flu vaccine protects against the H1N1 flu strain as well as two new strains: H3N2 and a B strain.
"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," Troy Brennan, chief medical officer for CVS Caremark, said in a statement.
CVS listed the five reasons why consumers should go to a CVS/pharmacy or a MinuteClinic for their flu vaccination this season.
For one, the company has more than 20,000 immunizing health care professionals available at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic to provide flu shots.
"Influenza causes between 3,600 to 49,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. annually. Receiving a flu shot can reduce the chance of becoming infected by up to 70%," stated Papatya Tankut, vice president of pharmacy professional services for CVS/pharmacy.
CVS also noted that its drug stores and clinics are among the most convenient places to get a flu shot. The company cited its 7,300-plus CVS/pharmacy locations and nearly 600 MinuteClinics, which provide flu shots without an appointment daily, including evenings and weekends.
People receiving a flu vaccination at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic will get value as well, according to CVS. 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% on nonpharmacy purchases up to $100.
In addition, the company said, a seasonal flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic costs $31.99, the full cost of which is typically covered by many health plans, including Medicare Part B and TRICARE. 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.
A range of flu vaccines, too, are available to fit patients' needs. Besides the regular seasonal flu shot, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic will offer patients the Fluzone High-Dose and Fluzone Intradermal vaccines this season. For people age 65 and older, the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine contains four times the antigens as the seasonal flu vaccine. The Intradermal vaccine has a 90% smaller needle than the regular flu shot and injects the vaccine just under the skin instead of into the muscle.
CVS added that it also offers a wide range of other immunizations at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations.
"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 for MinuteClinic.