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CVS/pharmacy survey: 37 percent of U.S. adults missed a life event because they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms

Flu vaccinations now available every day at CVS/pharmacy® and MinuteClinic® nationwide, including evening and weekend hours, no appointment necessary

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2015-8-24— /EPR Retail News/ — A new survey from CVS/pharmacy released today found that nearly two in five U.S. adults (37 percent) have missed a life event because they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms. The most commonly missed events include get-togethers with friends (17 percent), family gatherings (17 percent) and a work meeting or presentation (13 percent).

In the survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CVS/pharmacy in July 2015 among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+, nearly three-fifths (58 percent) of Americans indicate that they get a flu vaccine every year or plan to get one this year, with commonly cited reasons being:

  • They believe it is the best way to prevent getting the flu (65 percent);
  • To protect their family from the flu virus (38 percent);
  • And, because they don’t want to miss important life events by having the flu (26 percent).

All CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide are now offering flu vaccinations.[1] 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.

“No one wants to get sick with the flu, and getting sick is even worse when it causes us to miss an important life event such as a vacation, wedding, holiday gathering or a child’s big sporting event or recital,” said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS/pharmacy. “The simple fact is that getting an annual flu shot is the best protection available against catching or spreading the flu.”

“It is recommended to get a flu shot as soon as the vaccine is available because it takes a couple of weeks for it to build immunity in order to provide you with the best protection before flu season peaks,” said Nancy Gagliano, Senior Vice President, CVS Health and Chief Medical Officer, CVS/minuteclinic. “You should also get vaccinated every year because influenza strains may change year to year and the vaccines are updated annually.”

Among Americans who have ever received a flu shot, 38 percent indicated that convenience plays a major role in their decision about where to get the vaccination. More than 7,800 CVS/pharmacy stores and nearly 1,000 MinuteClinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores provide flu shots every day, including evenings and weekends, with no appointment needed.

In addition, customers will receive a 20 percent off CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass when they get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic.[2] The Shopping Pass can be used with the CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare Rewards card to save 20 percent off non-pharmacy purchases up to $100.[3]

Getting the flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic is also very affordable. Thirty-six percent of Americans who have ever received a flu vaccine indicated that “where their insurance is accepted” is a determining factor for where they get the vaccine administered. 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 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.
  • The life events Americans would be most upset about missing because they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms include missing a vacation getaway (63 percent), family gathering (56 percent), wedding (54 percent), graduation (47 percent) and birthday party (43 percent).
  • 92 percent of Americans say they would take actions to protect themselves from catching the flu — including regularly washing hands as often as possible (77 percent), drinking more water (58 percent), taking vitamins (55 percent), eating more nutritious food (50 percent), wiping down surface areas with sanitizing wipes (46 percent) and regularly using hand sanitizer (45 percent).
  • Just over three fourths of seniors (76 percent), ages 65 and up, get the flu vaccine every year and/or plan on getting the flu shot this year.

The high dose vaccine is available at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations for those ages 65 and older. It 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. The quadrivalent flu vaccine is also available and offers protection against an additional influenza B virus than the standard seasonal flu vaccine.

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.

Please visit for more information and additional resources. Consumers can also visit or use the CVS/pharmacy Mobile smartphone app to locate a nearby store.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of CVS from July 17-21, 2015 among 2,024 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodologies, including weighting variables, please contact Stephanie Cunha at or Matt Mendolera-Schamann at

About CVS/pharmacy
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America’s leading retail pharmacy with over 7,800 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. 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 Health is available at

About MinuteClinic
CVS/minuteclinic is the retail medical clinic of CVS Health (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 nearly 1,000 locations in 31 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 25 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


For CVS/pharmacy

Stephanie Cunha


Matt Mendolera-Schamann, Matter Communications

For MinuteClinic

Brent Burkhardt, TBC

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


CVS pharmacy survey

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