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February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor Finds Only 70% of Philadelphia Seniors Have Been Immunized This Season

With peak flu season well underway, more than one-quarter of older Delaware Valley residents remain unvaccinated

 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Feb. 21, 2019) – Today, newly conducted survey results from the February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor reveal that only 70% of Philadelphia area seniors. This is a negligible increase from last month’s findings in Philadelphia, indicating a worrisome plateau in vaccinations as flu activity continues to plague the region. In New Jersey, vaccination rates are unchanged from last month’s findings, which showed that only 66% of Garden State adults 60 and older had gotten a flu shot. 

 

Nationally, 63% of seniors surveyed in February had received the vaccine this flu season, which is unchanged from January. Though Philadelphia seniors are slightly ahead of the national average, the latest Flu Shot Monitor results are prompting the Medicare Advantage insurer to urge all Delaware Valley residents to get vaccinated immediately.

 

The Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor also found that:

  • Philadelphia seniors that live alone are far less likely to get vaccinated – only 65% of local seniors that live alone have gotten flu shots, compared to 72% of those who do not live alone. In New Jersey, 52% of local seniors that live alone have gotten flu shots, compared to 68% of those who do not.
  • While 68% of male seniors in Philadelphia have gotten a flu shot, 72% of female seniors have been vaccinated this season. In New Jersey, women were less likely to get vaccinated – 64% of male seniors have gotten a flu shot, versus 61% of female seniors.
  • In Philadelphia, 65% of seniors surveyed who are not college graduates have been vaccinated, compared with 77% who have a college degree. In New Jersey, 61% of seniors surveyed who are not college graduates have been vaccinated, compared with 64% who have a college degree.

 

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. Dan Schwartz, an in-network Clover physician from Parkside Family Medicine. “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 Delaware Valley. It’s certainly not too late for Philadelphia seniors to get a flu shot this February.”

 

A complete list of Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia, 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 Philadelphia and 300 adults age 60 and older in New Jersey. The national survey was of 1,000 adults 60+ throughout the U.S.