PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy, MinuteClinic announce new online scheduler

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic have announced that flu shots now are available at all of their locations nationwide, and that they have launched a new online scheduler so customers can make an appointment to receive a flu shot from a CVS pharmacist.

The new online tool, called My Flu Shot Scheduler, allows customers to make vaccination appointments with a CVS pharmacist at a time, date and location that is convenient for them. The online scheduler also will identify the times and dates of CVS/pharmacy walk-in flu clinics. My Flu Shot Scheduler also is available by calling toll-free at 1-888-FLU-SHOT.

MinuteClinic nurse practitioners can vaccinate patients who are 18 months or older — except in Massachusetts, where the minimum age is 24 months. The minimum age for vaccinations by a pharmacist varies depending on the state. MinuteClinic flu shots are administered in a private exam room, and CVS/pharmacy will use privacy screens for patients receiving flu shots from pharmacists in the pharmacy area.

This year, only one vaccine will be required for protection against three influenza strains, including the H1N1 virus and the seasonal H3N2 virus. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending for the first time that anyone 6 months or older get a flu shot, an expansion from its previous recommendations that certain risk groups be vaccinated.

A flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic costs $29.95, and vaccinations are covered by many insurance plans. CVS ExtraCare cardholders who receive a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic also will receive a one-time 10% discount on nonpharmacy purchases up to $100 at CVS/pharmacy, except where otherwise prohibited by law.

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Survey: Adolescent vaccination on the rise

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA A recent survey out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that adolescent vaccination at the national, state and selected local area levels are all on the rise.

 

Continued increases — as much as 15% — were made in nationwide coverage for vaccines specifically recommended for pre-teens, according to 2009 National Immunization Survey-Teen estimates released Thursday by the CDC.

 

 

The survey of more than 20,000 teens ages 13 to 17 years found that in 2009 there were increases in the percentage of teens in this age group who had received vaccines routinely recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds. Specifically: 

     • For one dose of the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine, coverage went up about 15 points to about 56%;      • For one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, coverage went up about 12 points to about 54%;      • For girls who received at least one dose of human papillomavirus vaccine, coverage increased 7 points to about 44%.         However, for girls who received the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine, coverage was only about 27% (a 9% increase);

 

 

"This year’s data are mixed," stated Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "We can see that more parents of adolescents are electing to protect their children from serious diseases such as pertussis, meningitis and cervical cancer, but there is clear room for improvement in our system’s ability to reach this age group."

 

"Pertussis outbreaks in several states and an increase in pertussis-related infant deaths in California highlight how important it is for pre-teens to receive the Tdap booster," Schuchat added. "It is important for teens and adults to get a one-time dose of Tdap to protect themselves and those around them from whooping cough. Young infants are most vulnerable to serious complications from pertussis and can be infected by older siblings, parents or other caretakers."

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RediClinic announces availability of FluMist

BY DSN STAFF

HOUSTON RediClinic, which operates more than 20 clinics in H-E-B grocery stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, has announced the availability of FluMist at its clinics for the 2010-2011 flu season.

The clinic also soon will offer the flu shot Fluvirin, which is given with a needle and approved for use in people 4 years of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions, the clinic operator stated.

FluMist, which currently is available in a limited supply, is a needle-free, nasal-spray flu vaccine. FluMist is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

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