WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Monday that its CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic divisions have surpassed the goal of delivering one million flu vaccinations during this fall’s flu shot season.
The integrated campaign kicked off Oct. 1 and provided vaccinations to consumers at 7,500 scheduled flu shot clinic events in select CVS/pharmacy stores, as well as flu shots on demand at more than 500 MinuteClinic locations throughout 27 states.
MinuteClinic will continue to provide flu shots to adults and children during the CDC’s National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 8 to 14) and will continue to do so on a daily basis during the holidays and throughout the flu season, which can run as late as April.
While the company is pleased with the results of the combined efforts of CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic, it continues to stress the importance of obtaining a flu shot.
“Right now, flu activity in most parts of the country is sporadic, according to the CDC, so there is still time to obtain a flu shot,” said Donna Haugland, chief nursing officer for MinuteClinic. “But those who wait too long or choose not to get vaccinated at all risk time away from work, school and other activities and the possibility of hospitalization or an even more serious outcome.”
Those at highest risk for the flu include individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease; women who are pregnant; healthcare workers and young children. MinuteClinic offers vaccinations to children over 18 months of age in most cases. Preservative-free children’s vaccinations are available at most MinuteClinic locations.
This year, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has endorsed influenza vaccination for all children aged 6 months to 18 years and public health agencies have reinforced the importance of protecting children during the flu season. In some cases, local departments of health are also recommending flu vaccine for certain populations. For example, in New Jersey, a new law requires children aged 6 to 59 months who are enrolled in a licensed childcare center or preschool facility to receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine by Dec. 31.