CVS Pharmacy, MinuteClinic roll out flu shot availability
With flu shots expected to be in high demand, CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations are making the immunizations available. Nearly 10,000 retail locations and 1,100 MinuteClinic locations will be offering flu shots, including those inside Target stores.
Based on consumer research commissioned by CVS Health, demand this year will be high. The company’s survey, conducted in July, found that 66% of respondents said they will definitely or likely be getting a flu shot this season — nearly double the 34% of respondents surveyed in January who said the same thing. Likely influenced by the ongoing pandemic, 54% of respondents said that they planned to get immunized earlier than they did last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that patients get vaccinated early in the fall, ideally no later than the end of October.
"We know our patients and customers are doing everything they can to keep their families as healthy as possible, while minimizing potential exposure to the flu and COVID-19," said Jon Roberts, CVS Health COO. "Because it can take two weeks for the vaccine to build immunity, we encourage all of our patients to get their shot in September or early October, before flu season peaks."
CVS Health said that it would be taking additional steps to help its patients and employees feel safe throughout the immunization process. Patients are required to wear a face covering and will have their temperature taken before receiving the vaccination. Pharmacists and MinuteClinic staff will wear personal protective equipment and carry out enhanced cleaning protocols, the company said.
"Getting your flu shot is a great way to be proactive about your health and the health of your community this year," said Angela Patterson, MinuteClinic chief nurse practitioner and CVS Health vice president. "It protects both the individual and those around them who may be more vulnerable to serious complications from the flu, such as infants and young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions."
Currently, patients can schedule an immunization appointment with a MinuteClinic provider via MinuteClinic.com, which also has information about whether walk-in appointments are available. In September, CVS Pharmacy patients will be able to make vaccination appointments online, in the CVS app or by texting FLU to 287898. They also can complete a digital intake form to limit in-person contact during their appointment.
As an added incentive, CVS Pharmacy is offering a pass for $5 off of a $20 purchase for patients who get a flu shot at CVs Pharmacy or MinuteClinic in participating states while supplies last. Patients who receive a flu shot at a Target CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic location will receive a $5 Target coupon.