Late Season Flu Still a Public Health Threat

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that flu season can begin as early as October and continue throughout May1, yet we often think of the flu as a “winter illness" or as something we primarily need to worry about during the holidays. But the U.S. flu season has peaked as late as March, leaving the population at extended risk of infection.

The 2016-2017 flu season is showing signs of picking up late in the season in some areas of the country, and getting the flu vaccine remains the best way to avoid getting the flu, particularly for those who work in schools, offices or anywhere large numbers of people are gathered.

"With many people choosing to go to work even when they're experiencing flu-like symptoms, it's vital to take all precautions necessary to avoid getting sick," said Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at MinuteClinic. "Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu and the potentially serious effects of influenza infection.

 Making Vaccinations Easy

A recent CVS Health survey found that 34 percent of people who get vaccinated choose where to get their flu shot based on convenience. Specifically, respondents were more likely to have their families vaccinated against the flu if the vaccine were readily available without an appointment (28 percent), and if the entire family could be vaccinated at one place/time (20 percent). To that end, CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic are dedicated to making the vaccination process as simple as possible:

  • Flu shots are available seven days a week, including evenings and weekends at locations nationwide with no appointment needed.

  • CVS Pharmacy customers can schedule their flu shot in advance using the Immunization Scheduler at CVS.com.

  • Patients planning to go to MinuteClinic to get their flu shot can visit MinuteClinic.com to view wait times and hold their place in line at their chosen clinic.

Remember, the flu vaccine is considered a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act, and is fully covered and available at no cost through most insurance plans.

For more information about where, how and why to get vaccinated this flu season, visit our flu information center on CVS.com.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm