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Survey finds misconceptions persist about flu vaccine

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Consumer advocates worry that misconceptions and fears about the safety and effectiveness of flu vaccines are hindering efforts to get children vaccinated, according to a new survey.

The National Consumers League announced Tuesday the results of the survey, conducted in August and September by Harris Interactive, which included 1,756 adults, including 993 who have children. The survey found that 45% of adults who had not received a flu shot before said it was because they were in good health, while 29% expressed concerns about side effects, and 24% perceived it as ineffective. Meanwhile, one-in-five said they hadn’t received it because they didn’t perceive the flu as a serious illness, while another one-in-five was afraid of contracting the flu through vaccination. More than one-third of adults say the flu is very severe, with women more likely to say so than men.

Among parents, 31% said they had not received a vaccination because they didn’t think the flu was serious, but parents were also more likely to express concern about their children contracting the flu than any other disease from a list, except meningitis. Meanwhile, parents were more likely than the general population to avoid receiving a vaccination due to fears of contracting the flu, while 33% were highly concerned about their child contracting the flu, and 44% said their child had received vaccine.

"Getting the flu can be serious, especially to children under 5 and other high-risk groups," NCL executive director Sally Greenberg said. "In our survey, however, we found the majority of parents of a child in this age group have not had them vaccinated with the flu vaccine."

 

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Mistic introduces gift sets for the holidays

BY Ryan Chavis

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mistic, a maker of electronic cigarettes, on Monday announced that Walmart has added Mistic’s Ultimate Gift Set to store shelves across the nation.  

“We’re experiencing tremendous demand for our products as e-cigarettes continue to provide an innovative alternative to traditional tobacco,” John Wiesehan Jr., Mistic CEO said. “Walmart is all about saving money and living better, so as the leading provider of electronic cigarettes to the Walmart consumer, we believe the holidays are a great time to package significant value into our gift set.”

The gift set, valued at over $100, retails for $59.99 at most Walmart locations. Consumers have two gift set options: Traditional or Menthol. Both include the following:

  • Mistic 3 Starter Kit: two batteries, three cartridges, USB and wall charger;
  • 5-pack of American Blend (Traditional set) or Cool Ice (Menthol set);
  • 5-pack of 2.4% Traditional or Menthol;
  • Portable charging case;
  • Car charger

“This gift set is perfect for friends or relatives that smoke traditional cigarettes and may be looking to either stop or switch to a unique alternative,” Wiesehan said. “When consumers use our product, they expect exceptional taste, quality and value, and that is what we’ve achieved with this outstanding product for the holiday sales season.”

 

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CVS Caremark Charitable Trust commits $5M to expand access to care

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark, today announced a $5 million commitment to expanding access to quality health care nationwide through partnerships with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, the School-Based Health Alliance and the second year of the "Innovations in Community Health" grant program in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Beginning in 2014, grants will be made available to free and charitable clinics, school-based health centers and community health centers nationwide to increase access to health care and coordinated care to improve health outcomes for people of all ages. The $5 million investment reinforces CVS Caremark’s commitment to support community health.

To increase access to health care for underserved populations, NAFC supports the needs of more than 1,200 free and charitable clinics and the people they serve across the United States. The School-Based Health Alliance supports more than 2,000 school-based health centers nationwide that provide health care services as well as prevention and wellness services for children, while community health centers serve more than 22 million people at more than 9,000 sites located throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories.

"While changes in our health care system will qualify millions of more people for health coverage, it’s still a challenge for many, especially underserved populations, to have access to quality health care," Larry Merlo, president and CEO for CVS Caremark said. "Through our partnerships with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and the School-Based Health Alliance, we will help ensure that thousands of adults and children throughout the country have the opportunity to benefit from health services right in their local communities that can create better health outcomes."

The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will support NAFC through a $1 million partnership to support the needs of free and charitable clinics nationwide. While doctors and nurses volunteer their time at local clinics, staff and partnerships with other organizations in the community are still needed to support patients. The funding from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will enhance coordinated care models at free and charitable clinics to help improve the quality of care and health outcomes.

Through its $1 million commitment to the School-Based Health Alliance, the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will help ensure that kindergarteners through high school students can receive routine medical care, such as a flu shot, annual physical, eye exams, dental screenings, or speak to a mental health counselor.

The second year of the "Innovations in Community Health" grant program in partnership with NACHC will award another $1 million, part of a $3 million, three-year partnership, to support community-based health care models in community health centers across the United States.

"As a pharmacy innovation company committed to helping people on their path to better health, CVS Caremark is always looking for opportunities to produce better health outcomes, especially in the communities where it’s needed most," added Eileen Howard Boone, SVP corporate philanthropy and social responsibility for CVS Caremark and president of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "Through the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, we’re able to partner with organizations like the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and the School-Based Health Alliance that share in our mission to help adults and children live healthier lives. We’re proud to build on our commitment to provide more people nationwide with access to health care and are excited to see the positive impact of our new partnerships and of our continued partnership with NACHC and community health centers, which play a vital role in providing affordable, quality health care services to patients managing chronic disease."

Through the partnerships with NAFC, the School-Based Health Alliance and NACHC, the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is supporting a variety of programs, including:

  • Health care models that promote coordinated care efforts;
  • Health care models that include education, awareness and prevention and wellness programs;
  • Immunizations in schools;
  • Partnerships with other community organizations, such as hospitals;
  • Health care models that promote coordinated care for patients managing chronic diseases;
  • Health care models that include education and tracking methods for promoting medication adherence for patients managing chronic diseases; and
  • Technology and IT services that enable health care providers to more effectively plan therapies or promote communication among a network of health care providers serving collaborative care for patients managing chronic diseases.

 

 

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