CVS Health announced this week that it is supporting a nearly $3 million commitment to increasing access to flu vaccines for underserved communities throughout the country. Through its Project Health initiative, CVS Health is contributing $2 million to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) to help distribute flu vaccines to those who may otherwise not have access. Additionally, the company is working with Bank of America and General Motors to support increased access to flu vaccines in even more communities nationwide.
“Underserved communities have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, so supporting flu prevention in these communities is even more important,” said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. “Through our work with Free Clinics, and in teaming up with Bank of America and General Motors, we aim to expand our reach to individuals who may not otherwise have access to flu vaccines.”
CVS Health’s Project Health flu initiative will support free and charitable clinics in areas across the country, helping clinics increase capacity to provide flu vaccinations. Clinics in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas will receive support. These grants extend the mission of Project Health which aims to break down the barriers for people to access quality and affordable health care.
“We are grateful to CVS Health for their continued commitment to supporting the work of Free and Charitable Clinics which provide access to needed health care services to underserved communities throughout the country,” said Nicole Lamoureux, NAFC President and CEO. “This program will allow clinics to distribute needed flu vaccines to people in their communities that otherwise might not have access to vaccinations.”
In addition to contributing to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, CVS Health is working with Bank of America and General Motors to reach even more individuals in these areas of significant need. Bank of America is funding vouchers for free flu vaccines, redeemable at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in seven select cities: Boston, Detroit, Dallas, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Phoenix and Greater Washington, D.C. Additionally, General Motors is funding vouchers for free flu vaccines, redeemable at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in the Los Angeles area and across southern California.
“We are committed to working with the public and nonprofit sectors as one global community to address this health crisis and to provide the necessary resources to protect our most vulnerable populations,” said Andrew Plepler, head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America. “Offering access to free flu prevention complements our other health-focused efforts including supplying PPE, supporting community-based testing and care, addressing food insecurity and providing access to mental health resources.”
Flu prevention is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic so hospitals are not overwhelmed with cases of both COVID-19 and flu. And with seasonal flu outbreaks beginning as early as October and lasting as late as May, it is never too late to get a flu shot as it is the best defense against getting the flu. Getting a flu shot is one way to help protect individual health, especially for those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illnesses and people with certain chronic health conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
“We are proud to collaborate with CVS Health to increase access to flu vaccines for underserved communities in the Los Angeles area and across southern California,” said Dr. Jeffery Hess, General Motors Chief Medical Director. “Now more than ever, it is important to be protected with a flu shot to help reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So many communities are enduring multiple crises during this difficult time, and we are grateful to be able to provide this support.”