WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As the U.S. enters the busy 2012 holiday season, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are reminding families during National Influenza Vaccination Week about the importance of receiving their flu vaccinations for the best protection against influenza this winter. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121203/NE22545 )(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/NE50800LOGO ) This year's National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 2-8, 2012. It was established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to annually highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination during and after the holiday season into January and beyond. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic began providing flu shots at the end of August and all of its pharmacy and walk-in medical clinic locations continue to offer vaccinations every day with no appointment needed. "National Influenza Vaccination Week is an ideal time to remind those who have not received their flu shot yet that a vaccination is the best way to prevent getting sick with the flu and that there is still time to get vaccinated if they have not already done so," said Papatya Tankut, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs at CVS/pharmacy. "CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants are available every day at all of our locations to help patients on their path to better health with a flu vaccination." CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are partnering with the CDC and the NFL Retired Players Association during National Influenza Vaccination Week to increase awareness about the importance and benefits of annual flu vaccination. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza disease. Yearly vaccination is needed because flu viruses are always changing so new vaccine is produced each year to protect against the currently circulating influenza viruses. Also, immunity received from the influenza vaccination declines over time so an annual flu shot provides optimal protection.