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February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor Finds Vaccination Rates Have Plateaued Among New Jersey’s Senior Population
With peak flu season well underway, more than one-third of older Garden State residents remain unvaccinated
JERSEY CITY, NJ (Feb. 20, 2019) – Today, newly conducted survey results from the February 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 as flu activity continues to ramp up in the region.
Nationally, 63% of seniors surveyed in February had received the vaccine this flu season, which is unchanged from January. The latest Flu Shot Monitor results are prompting the Medicare Advantage insurer to urge all Garden State residents to get vaccinated immediately.
The Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor also found that:
- New Jersey seniors that live alone are far less likely to get vaccinated – only 52% of local seniors that live alone have gotten flu shots, compared to 68% of those who do not
- While 64% of male seniors in the state surveyed have gotten a flu shot, just 61% of female seniors have been vaccinated this season
- 70% of New Jersey seniors with a household income of $75,000 or more have received a flu shot, versus 57% of those earning $35,000-$74,999, and just 55% of those earning less than $35,000
- Just 54% of working New Jersey seniors have received a flu shot, compared to 66% of non-working 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.
“I am continuing to see patients of all ages who are presenting with the flu or flu-like symptoms,” said Dr. Marc Feingold, an in-network Clover physician and member of New Jersey’s Consensus Health Network. “Getting vaccinated remains the best protection against the flu for seniors, and it’s much easier to prevent this disease than treat its complications. The flu shot also helps to prevent spreading the virus to other vulnerable members of our community.”
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.
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 New Jersey. The national survey was of 1,000 adults 60+ throughout the U.S.