CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Survey results released today from the inaugural Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor reveal that only 71% of Charleston seniors plan to get a flu shot this season, prompting the Medicare Advantage insurer to urge Charleston residents to take the threat of the virus more seriously and get vaccinated before the end of October.
Nationally, 63% of seniors surveyed as part of the Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor say they plan to get a flu shot, the news release states.
The positive difference between Charleston seniors and those polled nationally gives hope that South Carolina can continue to outpace the country as a whole in this critical health measure.
“The flu is a deadly-serious issue and Charleston seniors are one of the most vulnerable populations during flu season,” said Kumar Dharmarajan, MD and Chief Scientific Officer, Clover Health. “We are concerned that only 71% of Charleston seniors plan to get a flu shot. The best way to prevent the flu is to be vaccinated early, and Clover Health is urging everyone in Charleston to get their shot in October.”
Other findings in the Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor include:
● 30% of Charleston seniors did not get a flu shot in the 2017/18 flu season.
● The most commonly cited reason for not wanting to get a flu shot is the concern that it will make individuals sick, followed by the belief that it will not be effective.
The news release states that during the last flu season, 4,330 influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control as of March 31, 2018.
The Flu Shot Monitor from Clover, a healthcare company using technology to improve medical outcomes, surveyed seniors in Charleston and nationwide to assess how prepared local seniors are for the upcoming flu season, according to the news release.
Clover’s focus on reducing a flu outbreak in Charleston stems from the company’s commitment to preventative healthcare, leveraging data and its technology platform to proactively address potential illnesses before they become serious, according to officials.
As part of this, Clover’s sophisticated technology has an 85 percent accuracy rate in identifying patients at risk of being admitted to the hospital in the next 28 days an unmatched level of precision.
Seniors in Charleston can sign up for one of Clover’s comprehensive Medicare Advantage plans during the annual Medicare enrollment period, which begins on October 15 and runs through December 7. Clover members receive free flu shots as part of the insurer’s comprehensive plan benefits.
The Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor was conducted by Wakefield Research of 300 adults ages 60 and older in Charleston. The national survey was of 1,000 adults 60+ throughout the U.S. The surveys were administered from September 18, 2018, through September 28, 2018.