WOONSOCKET, R.I., Jan 11, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- CVS/pharmacy, the nation's leading retail pharmacy and MinuteClinic, the largest retail health care provider in the U.S., is urging more Americans to protect themselves and their families with an H1N1 vaccine during National Influenza Vaccination Week (January 10-16) as designated by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090226/NE75914LOGO ) In support of this effort, CVS/pharmacy is expanding H1N1 vaccine availability to Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. H1N1 flu vaccine is now available in 34 states and Washington, DC at either CVS/pharmacy or at MinuteClinic, the retail health clinic subsidiary of CVS Caremark. "H1N1 still has the potential to cause serious illness and even death during this flu season, which typically peaks this time of year," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark. "Now that H1N1 vaccine is widely available, we're urging customers in our CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic communities to get vaccinated now as the best defense against the flu." There have been approximately 47 million cases of H1N1 flu, more than 200,000 hospitalizations, and nearly 10,000 deaths, with most of the deaths occurring in children and non-elderly adults. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are using TV, radio and internet advertising as well as in-store marketing to educate consumers about vaccine availability and the importance of getting an H1N1 vaccine. Public health officials are now encouraging everyone to get an H1N1 flu vaccine and many states have lifted priority group restrictions, allowing all patients to be eligible to receive the shot while supplies last. "Many patients who may not have had an opportunity to get an H1N1 vaccine previously because of supply issues or because they were not in a primary risk group are now coming in to be vaccinated," Brennan added. "And the more people who get vaccinated, the less likely it is that the flu will spread in the coming months." Patients who are most at risk for contracting H1N1 and for complications resulting from the flu include pregnant women, individuals 6 months through 24 years of age, household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age, health care and emergency medical services personnel, and persons aged 25 through 64 who have health conditions that are associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza such as asthma and diabetes. The H1N1 vaccine is currently being offered at: * Select CVS/pharmacy locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii (Longs Drugs stores), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. * MinuteClinic locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Information on H1N1 flu vaccine supply at CVS/pharmacy can be found at www.cvs.com and at MinuteClinic at www.minuteclinic.com, or by calling 1-888-FLU-SHOT. Vaccine availability is updated daily. The cost of the H1N1 flu vaccination shot at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic is a $15 administration fee, which may be covered by insurance. About CVS/pharmacy CVS/pharmacy is the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS). The Company operates more than 7,000 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores. CVS/pharmacy is committed to providing expert care and innovative solutions in pharmacy and health care that are effective and easy for our customers, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at www.cvscaremark.com. About MinuteClinic Minneapolis-based MinuteClinic is a subsidiary of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the No. 1 provider of prescriptions and related health care services in the nation. MinuteClinic launched the first retail health care centers in the United States in 2000 and is the first provider to establish a national presence with about 500 locations in 25 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to consumer demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. The company has generated more than 6 million patient visits, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating. A recognized leader in the patient-centric health care movement, MinuteClinic consistently brings innovation to the marketplace and sets new standards for clinical quality that exceed the national guidelines established for store-based clinics by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). MinuteClinic is the first retail health care provider to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.