WOONSOCKET, R.I., June 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As Arizona public health officials work to stop the spread of a measles outbreak, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is offering measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to people living in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, the areas exposed to confirmed cases of the illness. Both CVS Pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics in the area have vaccines available to protect patients against measles.
Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The most common symptoms of measles include fever (101 F or higher), cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, followed by a rash that is red, raised and blotchy. Symptoms can appear seven to 12 days after exposure but may take up to 21 days. An infected person can spread measles to others even before knowing he/she has the disease—from four days before developing the measles rash through four days afterward.
Vaccination is the most effective way to protect people from measles and CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic is offering the MMR vaccine at more than 140 locations in Maricopa and Pinal Counties.1 The MMR vaccine may be effective if given within the first three days (72 hours) after exposure to measles. It is important for anyone who has not been vaccinated to receive the MMR vaccine to ensure protection from future measles exposure.
"Immunizations are an important part of preventive care and a critical way to prevent the spread of serious diseases, like measles," said Dr. Andrew Sussman, Executive Vice President and Associate Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health, and President of MinuteClinic. "Our CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners are ready to provide measles vaccinations to people living in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, and can help ensure that patients stay up to date on vaccinations in the future."
Patients ages nine and older can receive the MMR vaccine at CVS Pharmacy locations. At MinuteClinic, nurse practitioners provide the recommended second vaccination to children 4-6 years old. The first dose, usually given at 12 months, is not available at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic. People are considered immune to measles if they have received two MMR vaccines or were born before 1957 and have received one MMR vaccine. Pharmacy and medical clinic staff can assist patients in determining whether the vaccine is covered by their insurance plan.
Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000 thanks to a highly effective vaccination program. Eliminated means that the disease is no longer constantly present in this country. However, measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Worldwide, an estimated 20 million people get measles and 146,000 people, mostly children, die from the disease each year. Every year, measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers (Americans or foreign visitors) who get measles while they are in other countries. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.
TBC (for MinuteClinic)
1 Vaccines are available when an immunizing pharmacist or MinuteClinic nurse practitioner is on duty, while supplies last.
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SOURCE CVS Health