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February Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor Finds Vaccination Rates Have Plateaued Among Tucson’s Senior Population

With peak flu season well underway, over one-quarter of older Pima County residents remain unvaccinated

 

TUCSON, Ariz. (Feb. 19, 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 68% of Tucson adults 60 and older had gotten a flu shot. This indicates a worrisome plateau in vaccinations as flu activity continues to plague 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 Pima 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 60% of female seniors have been vaccinated this season
  • 71% of Tucson seniors with a household income of $75,000 or more have received a flu shot, versus 61% of those earning $35,000-$74,999, and 59% of those earning less than $35,000
  • Only 59% of city-dwelling Tucson seniors and 61% living in rural areas have received a flu shot, compared with 71% 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.

 

"Getting vaccinated remains the best protection against the flu for Tucson seniors," said Kumar Dharmarajan, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, 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 the Tucson community healthy this flu season.”

 

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