Two-thirds of Americans say they plan to get a flu shot this year.
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — With the ongoing health impacts of COVID-19 on local communities, CVS Health is reminding the public that it is more important than ever to stay current with vaccinations and other routine health care needs. The company announced Tuesday that flu shots are now available at the nearly 10,000 CVS Pharmacy and approximately 1,100 MinuteClinic locations across the country. Both CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic, the retail health clinic of CVS Health inside select CVS Pharmacy and Target stores, offer convenient options for people of all ages to get their flu shot, seven days a week with expanded evening and weekend hours.
According to a survey commissioned by the drug chain and conducted among a general population of U.S. consumers, the impact of COVID-19 is significantly influencing individuals’ likelihood to get a flu shot this season. Results have shown that consumers’ intention to get vaccinated has been increasing month over month, with 66% of those surveyed in July saying they definitely or likely will get a flu shot this season, compared to 34% of those surveyed in January 2020. In addition, 54% of consumers surveyed indicated that they plan to get their immunization earlier than last year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals make plans to get vaccinated early in the fall, before flu season begins, and ideally no later than the end of October.
“We know our patients and customers are doing everything they can to keep their families as healthy as possible, while minimizing potential exposure to the flu and COVID-19,” said Jon Roberts, chief operating officer, CVS Health. “Because it can take two weeks for the vaccine to build immunity, we encourage all of our patients to get their shot in September or early October, before flu season peaks.”
“Getting your flu shot is a great way to be proactive about your health and the health of your community this year,” said Angela Patterson, chief nurse practitioner officer, MinuteClinic and vice president, CVS Health. “It protects both the individual and those around them who may be more vulnerable to serious complications from the flu, such as infants and young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions.”
This year, the company is taking additional steps to help patients and colleagues feel safe during the entire immunization process. All patients must wear a face covering and will have their temperature taken prior to the immunization. Pharmacists and MinuteClinic providers administering vaccines will wear personal protection equipment (PPE) and will observe enhanced cleaning protocols.
Patients may schedule an immunization appointment with a MinuteClinic provider at MinuteClinic.com, or check the website to see if walk-in appointments are available in their area. Walk-in appointments are also welcome at CVS Pharmacy throughout flu season.
Starting in September, CVS Pharmacy patients will also be able to make vaccination appointments with a pharmacist by visiting CVS.com, the CVS app, or by texting FLU to 287898. They also will be able to complete a digital intake form prior to their visit to limit in-person contact at the time of vaccination.
In addition, and for a limited time while supplies last in participating states, customers will receive a $5 off $20 shopping pass when they get a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic, valid 8/18 through 10/31. Patients who receive a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations inside select Target stores will receive a $5 Target coupon.