Most Seniors Not Aware of High Dose
Flu Shot for Elderly Provided by Medicare
Flu vaccine, including high dose
version, is provided at no cost to seniors covered by Medicare -
vaccine finder on page
Aug. 17, 2014 – A stronger flu
vaccine was created just for senior citizens. The high dose vaccine
contains four times the antigens as the regular flu vaccine and is
intended to create a stronger immune response for seniors, who are at
greater risk of developing severe flu-related illnesses. The problem is
that the majority of seniors are not aware of its importance.
A new survey from CVS/pharmacy
found that three in five U.S. adults (61 percent) are unaware of the
importance of the high dose flu vaccine in flu prevention for adults 65
years and older.
According to the study, nearly
one in three (30 percent) Americans have a role in helping an elderly
family member or loved one aged 65 years or older make healthcare
decisions, reinforcing the importance of the general population to be
aware of the availability of the high dose flu vaccine.
"Getting an annual flu shot is the
best way to help prevent the spread of influenza, especially for seniors
who are more susceptible to developing complications from the flu," said
Papatya Tankut, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs, CVS Caremark.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"The results of our consumer survey
indicate the need for greater awareness among all Americans to
understand the benefits of getting vaccinated and assisting older loved
ones in making the decision, as well."
The news release said all
CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations have begun to offer flu
vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
recommends that everyone who is at least 6 months old get a flu shot as
soon as the vaccine is available.
Among Americans who have ever
received a flu shot, more than one-third (35 percent) indicated that
convenience plays a major role in their decision about where to get the
vaccination. More than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores and 850 MinuteClinics
inside select CVS/pharmacy locations will provide flu shots every day,
including evening and weekends, with no appointment needed.
Getting the flu shot at
CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic is also very affordable. Nearly half of
Americans (46 percent) are unaware that 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.
● Two-thirds (67 percent) of
employed Americans would go to work even if they were feeling ill with
● Less than half (44 percent) of
those who receive a flu vaccine each year get it administered at a
primary care physician's office. According to CVS/pharmacy's 2013
consumer survey about flu, which revealed 61 percent of U.S. adults who
ever received a flu shot have ever received their vaccination at a
primary care physician's office, this is on the decline.1
● Three-fifths (59 percent)
indicated they plan to get the flu shot this year.
● According to the CDC, it is
estimated that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than
60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States
each year occur in people 65 years and older.
> With this in mind, 63
percent of those 65 and older would consider getting a high-dose flu
> Nearly three in five (58
percent) of those aged 18-64 indicate they would recommend the high dose
to someone 65 and older.
In addition to flu shots, CVS
pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician
assistants provide a number of other vaccinations, including pneumonia
and pertussis (whooping cough), among others.
The survey was conducted online
within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CVS/pharmacy in July 2014
among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+.
Customers will receive a 20 percent
off CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass when they get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy
or MinuteClinic. The Shopping Pass can be used with the CVS/pharmacy
ExtraCare Rewards card to save 20 percent off non-pharmacy purchases up
cvs.com/flu for more
information and additional resources. Consumers can also visit
www.cvs.com or use the
CVS/pharmacy Mobile smartphone app to locate their closest location.
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