CVS/pharmacy Releases Survey Results on Consumer Plans for Flu Season

Thursday, October 2, 2008

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- As flu season approaches and authorities report vaccines are in ample supply, a new survey from CVS/pharmacy finds that only half of adults (50%) plan to get a flu shot this year. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends vaccinations as soon as they are available, yet the survey also revealed that of those who normally get a flu shot, fewer than half (45 percent) get vaccinated when flu shots are available, while the remainder (55 percent) wait until a normally scheduled visit to the doctor or health care provider, or until flu season begins and they fear they will be exposed to other people who get sick.

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Now it's easier than ever to get a flu shot, with CVS/pharmacy, the nation's leading retail pharmacy, and MinuteClinic, the largest retail health care clinic in the U.S., offering flu shots beginning this week. CVS/pharmacy will host approximately 7,500 flu shot clinic events and MinuteClinic will provide flu vaccines every day on demand to people without an appointment at more than 500 locations across the country. Both companies are divisions of CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), the largest provider of prescriptions in the country.

"It's best to get vaccinated before the peak flu season begins," said Papatya Tankut, R.Ph., Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services at CVS/pharmacy. "With so many convenient locations for flu shots, there's no reason to wait."

According to the CVS/pharmacy survey, seniors are most likely to get a flu shot with 74 percent of those age 65 and older planning to be vaccinated, compared to 58 percent of those age 55-64 and 43% of adults younger than 55.

This year, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has endorsed influenza vaccination for all children ages 6 months to 18 years. However, the survey revealed that just over half of adults who have children under 18 in their household plan to have them get a flu shot (53 percent). Parents with children under 12 are more likely to plan to get them vaccinated than parents with children 12 and older (60 percent vs. 39 percent). MinuteClinic will offer vaccinations to children over 18 months.

"In addition to children and people over the age of 50, others who are at risk for the flu should be vaccinated as early as possible," said Donna Haugland, Chief Nursing Officer for MinuteClinic. "The CDC recommends annual flu shots for those with chronic disease such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease, along with women who are pregnant and health care providers."

Flu shots will be offered at all MinuteClinic locations every day on demand with no appointment necessary. MinuteClinic health care centers are staffed by masters-prepared, board-certified nurse practitioners who specialize in family health care.

To find the nearest location of a MinuteClinic or CVS/pharmacy flu shot clinic, or to determine the minimum age for flu shots at CVS/pharmacy store events, consumers can call 1-888-FLU-SHOT or go to Flu shots at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations are $30 and may be covered by insurance.

Survey Methodology

These findings are from a survey conducted on the telephone September 4-7, 2008 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults 18 years and older. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2% among the total sample. Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, NJ, conducted the fieldwork.