WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Marking the start of flu vaccine availability, a new survey from CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) released today found that nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of Americans get a flu vaccine every year, or plan to get one this year, resulting in a two percent increase from last year's survey findings. Of those who get a flu vaccine every year and plan to get one this year, 67 percent do so because they believe it's the best way to prevent themselves from getting the flu. All CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide are now offering flu vaccinations.
The annual flu survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy in July 2017 among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+, also found that nearly two in three (65 percent) employed Americans would still go to work even if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms.
Among those who have ever received a flu vaccine, 44 percent say they most often get the vaccine from their primary care provider or other health care professional, while 22 percent most often get it from a local pharmacy or drugstore. However, there has been a significant increase (up 7 percent from last year) in employed flu vaccine receivers who get the vaccine most often at their workplace, now tied with local pharmacy or drugstore at 22 percent.
"We recognize that staying on top of your health can sometimes be daunting, especially for busy families, and flu vaccinations are no exception to this," said Papatya Tankut, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs at CVS Health. "This year's survey demonstrates the increasing number of factors that go into deciding where, when, and how to get vaccinated, which is why CVS Pharmacy continues to strive to make health care quick, easy and accessible for patients."
Flu vaccinations are conveniently available seven days a week at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide with no appointment needed. CVS Pharmacy can provide flu shots to adolescents (in some states, depending on regulations), adults and seniors. MinuteClinic can provide flu shots to children 18 months and up, adolescents, adults and seniors, making it easy to vaccinate the whole family in one trip. In addition, customers will receive a $5 off $25 coupon when they get a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic. Patients who receive a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations inside select Target stores will receive a $5 Target coupon.
Although 52 percent of Americans protect themselves from catching the flu by getting the flu vaccine, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of Americans who also incorporate other prevention methods into their lifestyles to help stop the spread of germs and stay healthy. For example, 41 percent of Americans regularly use hand sanitizer to stop the spreading of germs (up 3% from last year). Americans are also reporting protecting themselves from the flu by drinking more water (55%, up 4% from last year), taking vitamins (50%, up 4% from last year), eating more nutritious food (44%, up 2% from last year), and staying physically active (43%, up 4% from last year).
Other notable findings from the survey include:
Women are 12 percent more likely than men to get their flu vaccine from their primary care physician or other health care professional's office
76 percent of seniors (age 65 and up) get the flu vaccine every year and/or plan on getting the flu shot this year
For Americans who have ever gotten a flu shot, fall months are still the most popular time to get the vaccine, with October being the most popular month (36 percent)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is eligible and at least six months old get a flu shot when the vaccine becomes available, preferably by October.
"People may not realize that it can actually take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to build immunity," said Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at MinuteClinic. "For this reason, CVS Pharmacy actually recommends that patients get their flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available to ensure you have the best protection before flu season peaks. Additionally, influenza strains tend to change each year, so it's very important to get vaccinated every year to make sure you are protected."
The flu vaccine is a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act, fully covered and available at no cost through most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B. CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic can directly bill many national and regional health plans that cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot.
Please visit CVS.com and/or MinuteClinic.com for more information and additional resources. Consumers can also visit CVS.com or use the CVS Pharmacy app to locate a nearby CVS Pharmacy. Patients planning to go to MinuteClinic to get their flu shot can visit MinuteClinic.com to view wait times or schedule a visit online for a future date at their chosen clinic.
This survey was conducted online within the United States between July 12-14, 2017 among 2,074 adults aged 18+ by Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About CVS Health CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its nearly 9,700 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 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.
 Survey was conducted in the United States by Harris Poll on July 12-14, 2017, among 2,074 adults ages 18 and older.
 Flu shots are available when immunizing pharmacist, MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant is on duty, while supplies last. Age restrictions apply.
 Vaccinations vary by state based on regulations. Age restrictions apply.
 Offer is not valid in the state of AR, HI, NY and NJ. $5 of $25 CVS Pharmacy coupon is not available at MinuteClinic locations in MA, PA and RI. Normal ExtraCare purchase restrictions apply for $5 of $25 CVS Pharmacy coupon.
 Terms and conditions are applied to coupon. See coupon for details. Coupon valid for Target merchandise only. Offer available only at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in Target from 8/14/17 through 3/31/18. Limit one per customer. $5 Target coupon cannot be issued in AR, HI, NJ, and NY and is not available at MinuteClinic locations in MA, PA and RI.