WOONSOCKET, R.I., July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It's the time of year when parents are looking to see what tasks they can check off the back to school to-do list. MinuteClinic, the walk-in medical clinics inside CVS/pharmacy stores in 25 states and the District of Columbia, makes it easy for parents by offering a convenient one-stop location where students can get their required vaccinations, sports and college physicals.
"MinuteClinic practitioners are a great resource for parents who may be confused about school or sports health requirements and want to make sure their children are up to date with immunizations before the first day of school or practice," said Paulette Thabault, MinuteClinic Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer. "All MinuteClinic locations are open seven days a week and are fully stocked with vaccines to protect against whooping cough (pertussis), hepatitis A & B, measles, tetanus, meningitis and other diseases."
Four States Issue New Immunization Mandates
According to the CDC, the U.S. is on track to have the highest number of whooping cough cases since 1959. Four states -- California, Illinois, Oklahoma and South Carolina -- have recently changed their immunization mandates and now join other states in requiring students to obtain a Tdap booster prior to beginning middle school. States already requiring the booster include Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects individuals of any age, but is potentially fatal when contracted by an infant. Family members and anyone who comes in contact with young children are encouraged to get boosters regardless of legal requirements, as they often unknowingly pass along the infection.
Meningitis immunization guidelines have also changed. A new Texas law requires all first-year college students in 2012 to have a meningitis vaccination prior to beginning classes. Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia are among the others with meningitis vaccine requirements for incoming freshman.
Bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening disease caused by the inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. According to the CDC, young adults living and going to class on crowded college or boarding school campuses and surrounded by individuals from various geographic areas are at highest risk for the disease.
Vaccinations at MinuteClinic may be covered by health insurance plans. Patients should always check with their insurance provider for coverage details.
Sports and College Physicals
With football, cross country, field hockey, soccer and other fall sports practices about to begin, MinuteClinic also offers sports physicals for student athletes who need pre-participation exams often required by many states, school systems, and athletic leagues. In addition, many colleges and universities require incoming freshmen to receive a physical prior to arriving on campus.
During a sports or college physical, MinuteClinic practitioners review medical history and check to see if immunizations are up to date; check vital signs and reflexes; and provide an overall assessment of physical condition to make sure young adults are not at risk for illness or injury. Practitioners also discuss sports safety measures with athletes, including the use of mouth guards, the importance of proper fitting shoes and equipment, and tips on how to remain hydrated throughout games and practices.
MinuteClinic makes it easy for parents to complete student health forms during the visit. Once a child is cleared for participation or admission, practitioners stamp any required forms and reference the exam results on the official patient summary. Sports physicals at MinuteClinic are $49 through Sept. 30, 2012. Coaches and athletic directors can secure group discounts for $5 off per athlete when they register their team of 12 or more at www.minuteclinic.com/discount. College physicals are $69. Sports and college physicals are not covered by insurance.
MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants specialize in family health care and can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions, skin conditions and joint sprains are treated.
In addition, MinuteClinic practitioners administer vaccinations, conduct physicals and wellness screenings, and offer monitoring and point-of-care testing for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure.
No appointments are required at MinuteClinic and most health insurance is accepted. For patients paying cash or credit, treatment prices are posted at each medical clinic and on www.minuteclinic.com. The cost for most treatment starts at $79. Patients must be 18 months or older to be seen by a MinuteClinic practitioner; 24 months and older in Massachusetts.
MinuteClinic practitioners use a software program that at the conclusion of each visit generates educational material, an invoice and a prescription (when clinically appropriate) for the patient, as well as a diagnostic record that can be sent via electronic health record, fax or mail to a primary care provider with patient permission.
MinuteClinic is the walk-in medical clinic inside CVS/pharmacy which is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (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 approximately 600 locations in 25 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to consumer demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has generated more than 12 million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the first retail health care provider to receive accreditation (2006) and reaccreditation (2009) from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.
Sports and college physicals are not available in Massachusetts. Vaccinations for those under 18 years of age are not available in Massachusetts. Age restrictions apply for some services and vaccinations. Additional charges for labs and tests may apply.