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Rite Aid, CVS offer flu shot incentives

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NEW YORK — In support of National Influenza Vaccination Week, Rite Aid and CVS Pharmacy are giving consumers more reasons to come to their pharmacies for a flu shot.

Rite Aid is offering customers $5 off the cash price of a flu vaccination through Dec. 17. The standard trivalent flu shot costs $27.99 and the quadrivalent flu vaccine costs $34.99 at the drug chain, which has about 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

“National Influenza Week is the perfect time to remind people who haven’t received a flu shot yet that it is not too late to do so, as it is the best way to protect yourself and others from this potentially serious illness,” Jocelyn Konrad, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid, said in a statement. “Rite Aid pharmacists are committed to helping the communities we serve live and stay well, which is why we encourage customers to receive their flu shot annually.”

Rite Aid’s more than 11,000 certified immunizing pharmacists administer flu shots to customers during regular pharmacy hours on a walk-in basis. As a preventive service, flu shots are covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B.

The company noted that getting a flu vaccine also provides an opportunity for customers to review other immunization needs. Its Vaccine Central online assessment tool enables consumers to complete a personal immunization evaluation, track their personal vaccination history and find other educational resources on vaccines.

Meanwhile, customers getting a flu vaccination at a CVS Pharmacy store or a MinuteClinic get a 20%-off shopping pass. Those receiving their shot at a CVS Pharmacy department in a Target store get a $5 Target gift card.

A lack of convenience has been a stumbling block for families looking to get a flu shot, CVS said, citing a recent Harris Poll survey finding that nearly two in five Americans make multiple trips to get their household immunized.

CVS provides flu shots without an appointment seven days a week, including evenings and weekends, at its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies (including over 1,600 locations inside Target stores) and 1,100 MinuteClinics nationwide. Customers can schedule their flu shot in advance using CVS’ online Immunization Scheduler, and those planning to go to MinuteClinic for their shot can go to MinuteClinic.com to view wait times and hold their place in line at their selected clinic.

“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,” stated Papatya Tankut, 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.”

Besides helping to safeguard people against illness during the holidays, a flu vaccination provides protection for the workplace, CVS noted. The Harris Poll survey, conducted for CVS, found that 64% of Americans would go to work 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,” according to Angela Patterson, 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual flu shot for everyone ages six months and older, given that the virus changes each year. Seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue as late as May. The CDC started National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 4-10) in 2005 to stress the importance of getting a flu vaccine and that it’s not too late to do so after the holiday season into January and thereafter.


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