Survey finds more adults get annual flu vaccine or plan to do so
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — More Americans are now opting for an annual flu shot versus a year ago, according to a Harris Poll survey conducted for CVS Pharmacy.
CVS said Wednesday that the Harris poll of 2,074 U.S. adults found that 61% get a flu vaccination each year or plan to get one this year, up 2% from last year’s survey results.
Meanwhile, 67% of people receiving a flu vaccine annually or planning one this year get immunized because they think it’s the best way to safeguard themselves from getting the flu.
“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,” Papatya Tankut, vice president of pharmacy affairs at CVS Health, said in a statement. “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.”
Fifty-two percent of Americans said they protect themselves from catching influenza by getting a flu shot.
All CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide are now offering flu vaccines daily on a walk-in basis. Of those who have ever received a flu vaccination, 44% most often get it from their primary care provider or other health professional, and 22% most often go to a local pharmacy or drug store for a flu shot.
CVS noted that 22% of survey respondents said they get a flu immunization most often at the workplace, up 7% from a year earlier.
The poll revealed that women are 12% more likely than men to get a flu shot from a doctor or other health provider, and 76% of seniors get vaccinated for flu annually or plan to do so this year.
Among those who have ever received a flu shot, the fall months remains the most popular time to get immunized, with October being the most popular month (cited by 36% of respondents). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people ages six months and older 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,” stated Angela Patterson, chief nurse practitioner officer for 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.”
CVS Pharmacy can provide flu shots to adolescents (depending on state regulations), adults and seniors. MinuteClinic can administer flu vaccone to children ages 18 months and older, adults and seniors.
Customers get a $5 off $25 coupon when they get receive flu shot at a CVS Pharmacy or a MinuteClinic location. Patients who receive a flu vaccination at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations inside select Target stores will get a $5 Target coupon. Those planning to go to MinuteClinic for a flu shot can go to MinuteClinic.com to check out wait times or schedule an appointment.
Although the survey also found that 65% of employed Americans would go to work even if they had flu-like symptoms, CVS said the percentage of people who use other prevention methods to avoid flu, help stop the spread of germs and stay healthy has risen significantly. For example, 41% of respondents said they regularly use hand sanitizer (up 3% from last year), 55% drink more water (up 4%), 50% take vitamins (up 4%), 44% eat more nutritious food (up 2%), and 43% stay physically active (up 4%).