HEALTH

SDI: Many Americans have received seasonal flu shot

BY Michael Johnsen

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. More than 690,000 Americans already have received this season’s flu vaccine from their doctors, according to SDI’s VaccineTrack data through Sept. 4.

 

VaccineTrack provides syndicated weekly vaccine usage by physicians based on medical office electronic healthcare reimbursement claims data.

 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced an unprecedented campaign to combat seasonal flu through a universal vaccination strategy. CDC removed many restrictions and currently supports seasonal influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months of age and older based on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises CDC on vaccine issues.

 

 

In the 2010-2011 season, vaccine manufacturers are slated to produce more influenza vaccine than ever before. Shipments of influenza vaccine began weeks ahead of most other seasons in anticipation of rapid and wide-ranging vaccine uptake.

 

 

“These measures taken by the CDC and vaccine manufacturers facilitate public health efforts to make flu vaccines available to all,” stated Andrew Kress, CEO of SDI.

 

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CVS to offer uninsured patients free flu shots

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark is partnering with nonprofit Direct Relief USA to offer up to $5 million in free flu shots to community clinic and health center patients who lack health insurance, the company announced on Wednesday.

Direct Relief USA works with 1,100 clinics and health centers in all 50 states, providing them with free medications and supplies for their low-income and uninsured patients. Most of the facilities in Direct Relief’s network are affiliated with either the National Association of Community Health Centers or the National Association of Free Clinics. CVS Caremark and Direct Relief USA will distribute vouchers redeemable for a free flu shot at any CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic to participating clinics and health centers. These facilities will identify uninsured individuals from their existing patient populations in order to provide them with a free flu shot voucher.

Beginning Sept. 20, CVS free flu shot vouchers for the uninsured will be available at participating community clinic and health centers for their existing patients. Names and locations of participating clinics will be made available on Sept. 20.

"With every CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic location providing flu vaccinations this year, we want to make sure that as many people as possible have access to a flu shot, including patients for whom cost may be a barrier," stated Larry Merlo, president and COO of CVS Caremark. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone receive a flu shot this year. We are pleased to partner with Direct Relief USA to help accomplish that goal."

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Periscope thinks pink with new lighted folio

BY Allison Cerra

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. A maker of deluxe e-reader covers has released a new version of its lighted folio.

Periscope released its new pink lighted folio in line with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the company said. Available for a suggested retail price of $49.95, the Periscope lighted folio is an “all-in-one” item that features a retractable Periscope twin LED reading light, deluxe cover and notebook/pen holder in one fashionably designed pink leatherette unit.

“With today’s debut of the pink lighted folio for both the [Amazon] Kindle 2 and [Barnes & Noble] Nook e-readers, and with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month occurring in October, we decided there was no better time to show our support of those whose lives have been affected by breast cancer,” Periscope president Eric Fisherman said. “The new pink lighted folio makes an ideal gift choice for gift-givers who wish to give a gift that has a greater significance. Now every time a consumer uses their pink lighted folio, they will be reminded of all those whose lives have been touched in any way by breast cancer.

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