WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp. on Thursday started distributing vouchers for free seasonal flu shots to the unemployed, kicking off the effort in Boston.
The drug store chain, which announced the initiative about a month ago along with its annual flu immunization program, said Thursday that it plans to distribute $3 million in vouchers for a total of 100,000 seasonal flu shots in 20 markets nationwide.
The vouchers will be disseminated at participating One-Stop Career Centers and other employment training agencies that offer career resources, training and workforce information, according to CVS Caremark. In Boston, the company began providing the vouchers at The Work Place, a member of the Massachusetts Career One-Stop Initiative.
And beginning next week, participating employment centers will offer free flu shot vouchers for distribution to their unemployed clients, CVS Caremark said. The vouchers can be redeemed at CVS pharmacies in scheduled flu shot clinics or on a walk-in basis at MinuteClinic health clinics in select CVS stores. The free flu shot vouchers aren’t being offered through CVS pharmacies or MinuteClinics, the company noted.
Participating employment centers are located in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
"The unemployed are particularly vulnerable this flu season, as many lack health insurance or employer coverage for a flu shot," CVS Caremark chief medical officer Troy Brennan said in a statement. "We are excited to get this program under way and to start providing protection for this group as early in the flu season as possible."
As of September 1, CVS Caremark began offering seasonal flu shots daily without an appointment at its more than 500 MinuteClinics. The company also is providing vaccinations through more than 10,000 flu shot clinic events in select CVS pharmacies nationwide.