The flu season is here and a new study from CVS/Caremark found that more than 50 percent of people surveyed did not receive a flu shot last year. Starting Oct. 1 CVS Caremark will be providing 100,000 free flu shots to those unemployed and uninsured.
Those looking to avoid the flu can visit on-site flu clinics or obtain a voucher from the Minute Clinic (located inside select CVS stores) for a free flu shot.
CVS Caremark did a survey in 2009 of those benefits, those unemployed, seeking unemployment which revealed that this group is the least likely to get flu shots.
The survey showed that only 34 percent of people unemployed recieved flu shots last year, compared to 49 percent of respondents overall.
With unemployment even higher this year, CVS Caremark wants all unemployed to be able to get a flu shot at no cost.
The other main reason why people aren’t getting immunized is because they don’t have or can’t afford health insurance.
For this reason CVS Caremark is extending the offer to the uninsured as well.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths result each year from seasonal flu alone.
“If you are not protected with a seasonal flu shot, you risk getting sick. Individuals need to get vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but their families, friends and members of the community at large,” said Donna Haugland, FNP, Chief Nursing Officer for Minute Clinic.
“Flushots save lives and they prevent the illness that flu brings to millions every year. The flu shot can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in medical care costs and prevents the aches, chills, fever and more serious complications of flu,” added Troyden A. Brennan, Chief Medical Officer for Minute Clinic.