Flu shot season is underway across the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending people receive seasonal flu vaccinations as early as possible this year, as the 2009 flu season is expected to be a severe one. Included in the CDC’s fears for this 2009 flu season is the anticipation that many who have been heavily hit by the recession, namely those who are unemployed or uninsured, will not spend their money on preventative seasonal flu shots.
Free Seasonal Flu Shots Through CVS
A recent study conducted by CVS Caremark showed only 34% of the unemployed received a seasonal flu vaccination during 2008. In an effort to decrease that percentage during 2009, CVS pharmacies will be giving out $3 million worth of flu vaccinations to the unemployed.
“The number of people who did not get a flu shot last year is alarming. CVS Caremark wants to ensure cost and access are not barriers to getting a flu shot this year for one of the most vulnerable populations, the unemployed. Our commitment to offer 100,000 free flu shots is part of our broader efforts to help prevent the spread of seasonal flu which can lead to more serious and costly health problems,” said CVS Caremark Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan, M.D.
The free seasonal flu vaccinations through CVS will be available starting in October. Vouchers will be made available at government-run One-Stop Career Center locations. The vouchers can be exchanged for free seasonal flu shots at CVS MinuteClinics and CVS Pharmacy flu clinics. The dates when the vouchers will be made available have not been announced at this time. For more information, contact CVS through their Free Flu Shot Program at 1-888-FLU-SHOT or visit the Flu Shot webpage on the CVS website.
Free Seasonal Flu Shots Through Walgreens
Walgreens has also promised to help the underinsured and unemployed by giving out $1 million worth of free flu shots through their AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour. Vouchers for free seasonal flu shots will be made available to underinsured people, 18 years of age or older, who visit an AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour bus location between the dates of September 17 and November 15, 2009. Supplies are limited at each location and will be available one per person, per bus visit, on a first-serve basis. The vouchers are good for a free seasonal flu vaccination at any Walgreens pharmacy or Take Care Clinic until November 30, 2009.
To find an AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour bus location, check the schedule on the Walgreens website or contact AARP at 1-866-484-8687.
About the Free Seasonal Flu Shots Offered by CVS and Walgreens
The seasonal flu shots offered by CVS and Walgreens do not protect against the H1N1 (Swine flu) virus. The vaccines offered are the standard seasonal flu vaccinations that protect against three other viruses that medical researchers feel will be most common during the 2009 flu season.