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January Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor Finds Vaccination Rates Have Plateaued Among New Jersey’s Senior Population

More than one-third of older Garden State residents remain unvaccinated going into the height of flu season

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (Jan. 15, 2019) – Today, newly conducted survey results from the January Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor reveal that vaccination rates are unchanged from last month’s findings, which showed that only 66% of New Jersey adults 60 and older had gotten a flu shot. This indicates a worrisome plateau in vaccinations just as flu activity is ramping up in the region.

Nationally, 63% of seniors surveyed in January had received the vaccine this flu season, compared to 60% in December. Though New Jersey is slightly ahead of the national average, the fact that Garden State seniors did not budge in the last month is troubling, and is prompting the Medicare Advantage insurer to urge all older residents to get vaccinated immediately.

The January Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor also found that:

  • A scant 42% of African-Americans 60 and older in New Jersey have been vaccinated, compared with 50% of Hispanics and 68% of white seniors surveyed
  • While 69% of male seniors in the region surveyed have gotten a flu shot, only 62% of female seniors have been vaccinated this season
  • 74% of local seniors with a household income of $75,000 or more have received a flu shot, versus 60% of those in local households earning $35,000-$74,999, and just 54% of those earning less than $35,000
  • Just 54% of local seniors who did not graduate from college have been vaccinated, compared with 78% of those who are college graduates
  • Only 60% of South Jersey residents 60 and older have been vaccinated, versus 67% of North Jersey residents

According to the CDC, the 2018-2019 flu season is well underway, with around 7 million Americans sickened since October. Though flu season is expected to last at least several more weeks and has 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.

"Even in January, it’s not too late for New Jersey seniors to get a flu shot," said Kumar Dharmarajan, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, Clover Health. "It takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to take effect, making it crucial for Garden State residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible as the flu hits its peak this season.”

A complete list of New Jersey 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 New Jersey and across the U.S. to track the percentage of adults 60 and older who get vaccinated throughout this flu season.

Clover's focus on reducing the number of seniors who catch the flu stems from the company's commitment to preventative healthcare, leveraging data and its technology platform to proactively address potential illnesses before they become serious. As part of this, Clover's sophisticated technology has an 85% accuracy rate in identifying patients at risk of being admitted to the hospital in the next 28 days – an unmatched level of precision.

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 January Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor was conducted by Wakefield Research of 300 adults 60+ in New Jersey. The national survey was of 1,000 adults 60+ throughout the U.S. The surveys were administered through January 9, 2019.