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CVS/pharmacy Consumer Survey Finds Three in Five Americans are Unaware of the Importance of the High Dose Flu Vaccine in Senior Flu Prevention

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey from CVS/pharmacy released today found that three in five U.S. adults (61 percent) are unaware of the importance of the high dose flu vaccine in flu prevention for adults 65 years and older. The high dose vaccine contains four times the antigens as the regular flu vaccine and is intended to create a stronger immune response for seniors, who are at greater risk of developing severe flu-related illnesses.

According to a survey conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CVS/pharmacy in July 2014 among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+, nearly one in three (30 percent) Americans have a role in helping an elderly family member or loved one aged 65 years or older make healthcare decisions, reinforcing the importance of the general population to be aware of the availability of the high dose flu vaccine.  

"Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to help prevent the spread of influenza, especially for seniors who are more susceptible to developing complications from the flu," said Papatya Tankut, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs, CVS Caremark. "The results of our consumer survey indicate the need for greater awareness among all Americans to understand the benefits of getting vaccinated and assisting older loved ones in making the decision, as well."

All CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations have begun to offer flu vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is at least 6 months old get a flu shot as soon as the vaccine is available.

Among Americans who have ever received a flu shot, more than one-third (35 percent) indicated that convenience plays a major role in their decision about where to get the vaccination. More than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores and 850 MinuteClinics inside select CVS/pharmacy locations will provide flu shots every day, including evening and weekends, with no appointment needed.

Getting the flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic is also very affordable. Nearly half of Americans (46 percent) are unaware that the flu vaccine is a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act, fully covered and available at no cost through most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic can directly bill many national and regional health plans that cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • Two-thirds (67 percent) of employed Americans would go to work even if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms.
  • Less than half (44 percent) of those who receive a flu vaccine each year get it administered at a primary care physician's office. According to CVS/pharmacy's 2013 consumer survey about flu, which revealed 61 percent of U.S. adults who ever received a flu shot have ever received their vaccination at a primary care physician's office, this is on the decline.1
  • Three-fifths (59 percent) indicated they plan to get the flu shot this year.
  • According to the CDC, it is estimated that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States each year occur in people 65 years and older.
    • With this in mind, 63 percent of those 65 and older would consider getting a high-dose flu vaccine.
    • Nearly three in five (58 percent) of those aged 18-64 indicate they would recommend the high dose vaccine to someone 65 and older.

In addition to flu shots, CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants are available to provide a number of other vaccinations, including pneumonia and pertussis (whooping cough), among others. Visit or for more information on the vaccines offered. Certain immunizations have age and location restrictions.

Customers will receive a 20 percent off CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass when they get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic. The Shopping Pass can be used with the CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare Rewards card to save 20 percent off non-pharmacy purchases up to $100.2

Please visit for more information and additional resources. Consumers can also visit or use the CVS/pharmacy Mobile smartphone app to locate their closest location.

Survey Methodology

This United States survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CVS/pharmacy from July 23-25, 2014 among 2,079 adults, ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample; therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Mike DeAngelis at or Shana Mancinho at

About CVS/pharmacy

CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores in the U.S. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at

About MinuteClinic
MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the United States in 2000 and is the largest provider of retail clinics with more than 850 locations in 29 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to patient demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has provided care through more than 21 million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the only retail health care provider to receive three consecutive accreditations from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit

1 CVS/pharmacy Flu Shot survey, conducted in the United States by Harris Interactive on June 18-20, 2013, among 2,084 adults ages 18 and older.

2 Normal ExtraCare purchase restrictions apply for 20% Off Shopping Pass. ExtraCare card is not required in the state of HI. Offer is not valid in the states of AR, NJ, and NY. Shopping Pass is not available at MinuteClinic in the states of MA, NJ and NY. Flu shots are available when immunizing pharmacist, MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant is on duty, while supplies last.



For CVS/pharmacy
Mike DeAngelis

Shana Mancinho, Matter Communications

For MinuteClinic
Brent Burkhardt, TBC


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SOURCE CVS/pharmacy
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