Roll Up Your Sleeve. It’s That Time Again!

Disclosure: I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy to help spread the word about #BetterHealthMadeEasy and how to #FindYourHealthy. All opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.

I loved my primary care doctor, but it was a nuisance every year to make an appointment for the flu shot, then wait in his jam-packed office. It was nice when drugstores started offering the shots. I could pop in most anytime. Now that flu season is almost here, I plan to get my protection when I make my next run to CVS.

“Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). And, contrary to what you may have read or heard, it’s not too early to get vaccinated now because it takes about two weeks for your body to develop flu antibodies once you’ve had the shot.

“An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community,” the CDC website advises.

About two-thirds (61%) of Americans and 76% of those age 65 or older get the flu vaccine every year or plan on getting it this year, according to a new survey for CVS Health conducted by Harris Poll.  Even healthy people can get quite ill from the flu and spread it to others. Flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 have ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, and flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000, according to the CDC.

Those at high-risk of developing flu-related complications include adults 65 years of age and older, and children younger than 5, but especially kids younger than 2. And, make sure to protect yourself if  you have medical conditions including asthma, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions [including stroke), chronic lung disease, heart disease, and endocrine disorders such as diabetes.

Although the flu vaccine doesn’t guarantee that you’ll avoid the flu, you’ll likely become less ill if you do get it, and the shot will help protect you against flu-related complications. Those 50 years and older who got a flu vaccine, according to a 2016 study,  reduced their risk of being hospitalized from the flu by 57%

“CVS Pharmacy strives to make health care quick, easy and accessible for patients,” said Papatya Tankut, Vice President of Pharmacy at CVS Health. Flu vaccinations are available seven days a week at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations across the country. You’ll receive a $5 off $25 coupon when you get the shot at either place, or a $5 Target coupon if you get it at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations inside select Target stores.

Now that you know why it’s essential to get a flu shot, head right to your local CVS pharmacy for yours! While you’re there, make sure to stock up on cold remedies, because you don’t want to be running out on a bitter winter day if you develop the sniffles and a headache.

Last, but certainly not least, sign up for the CVS ExtraCare Rewards program, regarded as the gold standard because you can save, and automatically earn 2% cash back in ExtraBuck Rewards on nearly everything you buy. Then, you can use your rewards on most everything you want throughout the store, from beauty products to household merchandise.

I’ve been a member since the ExtraCare Rewards program was created, about 15 years ago, and I love it because I don’t have to wait until I reach a threshold to get my rewards. They’re paid out quarterly, on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1. I also can earn ExtraBuck Rewards when I’m redeeming previous awards, including on specially advertised items. That’s a pretty great deal!

Weekly CVS emails feature email exclusive offers, and use the information about my past purchases to send in-store specials and exclusive personalized coupons. I can access my money-saving offers right on my receipts, paper or digitally, at ExtraCare Coupon Centers in the store, or simply on the CVS Pharmacy app.

There’s more. The CVS loyalty program also features an ExtraCare Beauty Club and ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards, where you’ll earn even more ExtraBucks when you’re filling prescriptions or buying beauty products. Once you become a member, you’ll learn the details of all your exceptional benefits.

This quarter will begin in a couple of weeks, so sign up today to start earning “free CVS money,” and to take advantage of the great fall offers. And, think how good you’ll feel when you know you know you’re on top of your health!

  • Cathy McIvor

    I will NEVER get a flu shot again… what a HOAX!