WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- During National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 4-10), CVS Pharmacy is reminding families nationwide that it's not too late to receive a flu shot to protect themselves from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established National Influenza Vaccination Week in 2005 to emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated as the holiday season begins and even into the new year, since a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu.
A recent survey released by CVS Health found that nearly two in five Americans make multiple trips to get their entire household vaccinated, pointing to a lack of convenience as a real hurdle for families looking to get the flu shot. With CVS Pharmacy's more than 9,600 retail pharmacies and 1,100 walk-in MinuteClinics to choose from, getting the whole family vaccinated this flu season has never been more convenient.
"National Influenza Vaccination Week is a great reminder that the flu virus doesn't take the holidays off and families should make sure they're protected by getting vaccinated," said Papatya Tankut, R.Ph., Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs at CVS Health. "CVS Pharmacy understands that families' schedules are packed with holiday to-dos this time of year, and that's why we make getting the flu shot convenient."
The survey also revealed that two in three (64 percent) employed Americans would still go to work even if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms.
"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."
The flu virus changes year over year, which is why the CDC recommends an annual flu shot for everyone six months and older. According to the CDC, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue as late as May, which means it is not too late to get a flu shot. In addition, if you haven't yet been vaccinated and have already gotten sick with a flu virus this season, a flu vaccine can still protect you from other strains of the flu, further stressing the importance of getting vaccinated.
CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic are dedicated to making the vaccination process as convenient as possible; flu shots are available seven days a week, including evenings and weekends at locations nationwide with no appointment needed. For added convenience, 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.
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. In addition, customers will receive a 20 percent off CVS Pharmacy Shopping Pass when they get a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic.1 Patients who receive a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations inside select Target stores will receive a $5 Target GiftCard .2
About CVS Pharmacy
CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with over 9,600 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. 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 at www.cvshealth.com.
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 more than 1,100 locations in 33 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 30 million patient visits, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the only retail health care provider to receive four consecutive accreditations from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.minuteclinic.com.
Amy Lanctot, CVS Pharmacy
 Offer is not valid in the state of AR, NY and NJ. Shopping pass is not available at MinuteClinic locations in NJ, NY MA, PA and RI. Normal ExtraCare purchase restrictions apply for 20% Off CVS Pharmacy Shopping Pass.
 Terms and conditions are applied to gift card. See gift card for details. Gift card valid for Target merchandise only. Offer available only at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in Target from 8/15/16 through 3/31/17. Limit one per customer. Gift card cannot be issued in AR, NJ, and NY.
SOURCE CVS Pharmacy