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

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

 

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Feb. 19, 2019) – Today, newly conducted survey results from the February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor reveal that only 70% of San Antonio area seniors have gotten a flu shot so far this season. This is a minimal increase from last month’s findings, indicating 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. Though San Antonio seniors are slightly ahead of the national average, the latest Flu Shot Monitor results are prompting the Medicare Advantage insurer to urge all Bexar County residents to get vaccinated immediately.

 

The Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor also found that:

  • San Antonio seniors that live alone and those that are not married or in a relationship are far less likely to get vaccinated -- only 61% of local seniors that live alone and 60% who are unmarried have gotten flu shots, compared to 72% of those who do not live alone and 75% who are married
  • While 74% of male seniors in the region surveyed have gotten a flu shot, just 67% of female seniors have been vaccinated this season
  • 75% of San Antonio 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 66% of those earning less than $35,000
  • Just 68% of seniors surveyed who are not college graduates have been vaccinated, compared with 72% 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. Miguel Ayala, an in-network Clover physician from South Alamo Medical Group. “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 Bexar community. It’s certainly not too late for San Antonio seniors to get a flu shot this February.”

 

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is offering free flu shots to all local residents at its two vaccination clinics, with full details listed here.

 

"Getting vaccinated remains the best protection against the flu for San Antonio seniors," said Lynda Okafor, Nurse Practitioner, Clover Health. "Especially for older adults who spend time with children, the group most affected by this year’s strain, it is crucial to get your flu shot now to prevent passing on the virus. If you haven’t done so yet, there’s still time to do your part to keep Bexar County healthy this flu season.”

 

The Flu Shot Monitor from Clover, a healthcare company using technology to improve medical outcomes, surveyed seniors in San Antonio 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 the San Antonio region. The national survey was of 1,000 adults 60+ throughout the U.S.