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February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor Finds Only 65% of Savannah Seniors Have Been Immunized This Season

With peak flu season well underway, more than one-third of older Savannah residents remain unvaccinated

 

SAVANNAH, Ga. (Feb. 20, 2019) – Today, newly conducted survey results from the February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor reveal that only 65% of Savannah 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 Savannah seniors are slightly ahead of the national average, the latest Flu Shot Monitor results are prompting the Medicare Advantage insurer to urge all residents to get vaccinated immediately.

 

The Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor also found that:

  • While 67% of male seniors in the region surveyed have gotten a flu shot, just 63% of female seniors have been vaccinated this season
  • African American seniors are far less likely to be vaccinated – only 59% of African American seniors 60 and older in the Savannah area have been vaccinated against the flu, compared with 68% of white seniors surveyed
  • Just 62% of seniors surveyed who are not college graduates have been vaccinated, compared with 70% who have a college degree
  • 69% of Savannah seniors with a household income of $75,000 or more have received a flu shot, versus just 62% of those earning $35,000-$74,999, and 63% of those earning less than $35,000
  • Only 57% of seniors living in rural areas and 61% of city-dwelling Savannah seniors have gotten a flu shot, compared with 77% of seniors living in the suburbs

 

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. Leslie Sizemore, an in-network Clover physician from SouthCoast Health.“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 Savannah community. It’s certainly not too late for Savannah seniors to get a flu shot this February.”

 

A complete list of Savannah 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 Savannah 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 Savannah. The national survey was of 1,000 adults 60+ throughout the U.S.