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Video: CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic Encourage Americans to Protect Themselves Early With a Seasonal Flu Shot
Date:8/31/2009

sk: people ages 50 and older; those with chronic disease such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease; pregnant women; and those who care for or live with people that are most susceptible to the flu and its complications. According to the CDC, 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths result each year from seasonal flu alone.

A new study from CVS Caremark found that more than 50 percent of those surveyed did not receive a flu shot in the past year. The 2009 CVS Caremark Health IQ study reports that misperceptions about the risk of becoming ill from the shot were a leading reason, with over one-third believing the flu shot can make you sick. The study also revealed that young people are least likely to get vaccinated, with only 33% of those age 20-34 reporting they got a flu shot last year, compared to 72% of seniors age 65 and older.

"Flu shots save lives and they prevent the illness that flu brings to millions of us every year. The fact that so many Americans still choose not to get a flu shot means that we in the health care field have work to do when it comes to educating Americans on the value of flu shots," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for CVS Caremark. "A 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."

This year, epidemiologists are also bracing for the full impact of the H1N1 flu virus. So far this year, H1N1 has caused approximately 8,500 hospitalizations and more than 550 deaths in the U.S. A new vaccine against the novel H1N1 virus is in production and will be available in the coming months.

"If you're not protected with a seasonal flu shot, you risk getting sick," said Donna Haugland, FNP, Chief Nursing Officer for MinuteClinic. "Individuals need to get vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but their families, friends and members of the community
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SOURCE CVS/pharmacy
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