CVS Caremark Corp. is partnering with nonprofit group Direct Relief USA to provide up to $5 million in free flu shots to community clinic and health center patients lacking health insurance.


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CVS Caremark serves up free flu shots to uninsured

September 8th, 2010

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS Caremark Corp. is partnering with nonprofit group Direct Relief USA to provide up to $5 million in free flu shots to community clinic and health center patients lacking health insurance.

All CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide began offering flu vaccinations late last month. CVS Caremark said Wednesday that vouchers redeemable for a free flu vaccine at any CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic will be distributed starting Sept. 20 by CVS and Direct Relief USA to participating clinics and health centers.

The facilities will identify uninsured individuals from their existing patient populations in order to provide them with a free flu shot voucher, the company added.

"With every CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic location providing flu vaccinations this year, we want to make sure that as many people as possible have access to a flu shot, including patients for whom cost may be a barrier," CVS Caremark president and chief operating officer Larry Merlo said in a statement. "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone receive a flu shot this year. We are pleased to partner with Direct Relief USA to help accomplish that goal."

Direct Relief USA works with 1,100 clinics and health centers in all 50 states, providing with free medications and supplies for their low-income and uninsured patients. Most of the facilities in Direct Relief's network are affiliated with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) or the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC).

"Direct Relief USA is delighted to partner with CVS Caremark to help protect thousands of people who are in a tough financial situation with a free flu shot this season," commented Thomas Tighe, president and chief executive officer of Direct Relief. "The network we've built in collaboration with community health centers and clinics nationwide enables CVS Caremark's generous contribution to reach people who need help in a very efficient way. CVS Caremark is demonstrating great leadership by addressing an annual public-health risk."

CVS/pharmacy has more than 7,000 locations nationwide, and MinuteClinic has more than 500 locations inside select CVS drug stores.

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