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Flu shots at CVS, clinic to benefit USO

Nov. 7, 2011 - 05:31PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 7, 2011 - 05:31PM  |  
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This week only, CVS will donate $3 to the USO for every flu shot administered at CVS and MinuteClinic outlets, up to $50,000, the retail pharmacy giant announced Monday.

CVS, the country's second largest retail pharmacy chain with 7,300 stores nationwide, is part of the military's Tricare retail pharmacy network, which covers the cost of flu shots for Tricare beneficiaries as part of the military's health care plan.

MinuteClinic is CVS's in-house acute care offices, available in 600 stores in 24 states and Washington, D.C.

A CVS spokesman said the company wanted to honor veterans and give customers another incentive for getting immunized against the flu.

"We are pleased to recognize Veterans Day through our donation to the USO, an organization that has supported countless U.S. service members over the years," CVS Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services Papatya Tankut said in a release.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that between 5 percent and 20 percent of the U.S. population contracts the flu each year. Between 1976 to 2006, deaths from flu-related conditions per year in the U.S. ranged from 3,000 to 49,000.

The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months be vaccinated against the flu; the current vaccine, available in nasal spray and shot form, protects against two types of Influenza A viruses, including H1N1, and an Influenza B type virus.

In August, the Defense Department launched a campaign encouraging military family members, retirees and military and civilian health care personnel to be vaccinated. Military personnel are required to be immunized against the flu and priority for getting the vaccines at military treatment facilities.

A flu shot costs $29.99 each at MinuteClinic and CVS for those without health insurance or whose insurance won't cover the cost. CVS will give a $5 CVS gift card to those who pay out of pocket for a vaccine at their stores between Nov. 7 and Nov. 12.

Gift cards are not available to customers in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey, according to the company.

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