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February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor Finds Only 66% of Nashville Seniors Have Been Immunized This Season
With peak flu season well underway, more than one-third of older Middle Tennessee residents remain unvaccinated
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2019) – Today, newly conducted survey results from the February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor reveal that only 66% of Nashville area seniors have gotten a flu shot so far this season. This is a negligible increase from last month’s findings, indicating a worrisome plateau in vaccinations as flu activity has become widespread in the region.
Nationally, 63% of seniors surveyed in February had received the vaccine this flu season, which is unchanged from January. Though Nashville seniors are slightly ahead of the national average, the latest Flu Shot Monitor results are prompting the Medicare Advantage insurer to urge all Middle Tennessee residents to get vaccinated immediately.
The Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor also found that:
- Nashville seniors that live alone are far less likely to get vaccinated – 53% of local seniors that live alone have gotten flu shots, compared to 71% of those who do not live alone
- While 75% of male seniors in the region surveyed have gotten a flu shot, just 60% of female seniors have been vaccinated this season
- 78% of Nashville seniors with a household income of $75,000 or more have received a flu shot, versus 69% of those earning $35,000-$74,999, and just 53% of those earning less than $35,000
- Just 62% of Nashville seniors living in rural areas and 67% of seniors living in the suburbs have received a flu shot, compared with 80% of city-dwelling seniors
An estimated 15.4-17.8 million Americans have gotten sick with the flu since October, according to the most recent report from the CDC. Though flu season is expected to last at least into March, and has even stretched into May in recent years, far fewer people report getting vaccinated against the virus past late November – a dangerous trend, especially for senior citizens.
“Over the past month, I’ve seen a dramatic uptick in the number of older patients presenting severe flu symptoms,” said Dr. Naga Vijaya Oruganti, an in-network Clover physician from Good Health Associates. “Local flu activity does not appear to be slowing down, and as long as the virus is still circulating, you can still get sick or infect others in the Nashville community. It’s certainly not too late for Nashville seniors to get a flu shot this February.”
A complete list of Nashville flu shot locations and pricing details is available via the national HealthMap Vaccine Finder at vaccinefinder.org.
The Flu Shot Monitor from Clover, a healthcare company using technology to improve medical outcomes, surveyed seniors in Nashville and across the U.S. to track the percentage of adults 60 and older who get vaccinated throughout this flu season.
As opposed to traditional fee-for-service that focuses on “sick care”, Medicare Advantage insurers like Clover often offer a range of preventative care benefits, such as gym memberships, dental coverage, and home visits. Clover members also receive free flu shots as part of its comprehensive plan benefits.
The February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor was conducted by Wakefield Research of 300 adults 60+ in Nashville. The national survey was of 1,000 adults 60+ throughout the U.S.