FLU SEASON AND THE IMPORTANCE OF FLU VACCINATIONS
CVS/pharmacy Survey Finds Nearly Two in Five Americans Have Missed a Life Event Because They Were Feeling Ill with Flu-like Symptoms
A new survey from CVS/pharmacy found that nearly two in five U.S. adults (37 percent) have missed a life event because they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms. The most commonly missed events include get-togethers with friends (17 percent), family gatherings (17 percent) and a work meeting or presentation (13 percent).
In the survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CVS/pharmacy in July 2015, among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+, nearly three-fifths (58 percent) of Americans indicate that they get a flu vaccine every year or plan to get one this year, with commonly cited reasons being:
- They believe it is the best way to prevent getting the flu (65 percent);
- To protect their family from the flu virus (38 percent);
- And, because they don’t want to miss important life events by having the flu (26 percent).
All CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide are now offering flu vaccinations.[i] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is at least 6 months old get a flu shot as soon as the vaccine is available.
“No one wants to get sick with the flu, and getting sick is even worse when it causes us to miss an important life event such as a vacation, wedding, holiday gathering or a child’s big sporting event or recital,” said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS/pharmacy. “The simple fact is that getting an annual flu shot is the best protection available against catching or spreading the flu.”
“It is recommended to get a flu shot as soon as the vaccine is available because it takes a couple of weeks for it to build immunity in order to provide you with the best protection before flu season peaks,” said Nancy Gagliano, Senior Vice President, CVS Health and Chief Medical Officer, CVS/minuteclinic. “You should also get vaccinated every year because influenza strains may change year to year and the vaccines are updated annually.”
Among Americans who have ever received a flu shot, 38 percent indicated that convenience plays a major role in their decision about where to get the vaccination. More than 7,800 CVS/pharmacy stores and nearly 1,000 MinuteClinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores provide flu shots every day, including evenings and weekends, with no appointment needed.
In addition, customers will receive a 20 percent off CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass when they get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic. The Shopping Pass can be used with the CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare Rewards card to save 20 percent off non-pharmacy purchases up to $100.
Getting the flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic is also very affordable. Thirty-six percent of Americans who have ever received a flu vaccine indicated that “where their insurance is accepted” is a determining factor for where they get the vaccine administered. The flu vaccine is a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act, fully covered and available at no cost through most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic can directly bill many national and regional health plans that cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- Two-thirds (67 percent) of employed Americans would go to work even if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms.
- The life events Americans would be most upset about missing because they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms include missing a vacation getaway (63 percent), family gathering (56 percent), wedding (54 percent), graduation (47 percent) and birthday party (43 percent).
- 92 percent of Americans say they would take actions to protect themselves from catching the flu — including regularly washing hands as often as possible (77 percent), drinking more water (58 percent), taking vitamins (55 percent), eating more nutritious food (50 percent), wiping down surface areas with sanitizing wipes (46 percent) and regularly using hand sanitizer (45 percent).
- Just over three fourths of seniors (76 percent), ages 65 and up, get the flu vaccine every year and/or plan on getting the flu shot this year.
The high dose vaccine is available at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations for those ages 65 and older. It contains four times the antigens as the regular flu vaccine and is intended to create a stronger immune response for seniors, who are at greater risk of developing severe flu-related illnesses. The quadrivalent flu vaccine is also available and offers protection against an additional influenza B virus than the standard seasonal flu vaccine.
In addition to flu shots, CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants are available to provide a number of other vaccinations, including pneumonia and pertussis (whooping cough), among others.
CVS/minuteclinic is the retail medical clinic of CVS Health (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 nearly 1,000 locations in 31 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 25 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. 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 Health is available atwww.cvshealth.com.
Stay warm, stay healthy and wash your hands this flu season, and if you are caregiving be certain to keep your ward away from travelling coughs and sneezes.