WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Coinciding with the availability of flu shots at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations, CVS Health on Wednesday released data from its survey of Americans about flu prevention. The survey found that 61% plan to get a flu vaccine every year or this year, an increase of 2% from last year’s survey findings. And 67% say getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent against the fly.
"We recognize that staying on top of your health can sometimes be daunting, especially for busy families, and flu vaccinations are no exception to this," CVS Health VP pharmacy affairs Papatya Tankut said. "This year's survey demonstrates the increasing number of factors that go into deciding where, when, and how to get vaccinated, which is why CVS Pharmacy continues to strive to make health care quick, easy and accessible for patients."
Twenty-two percent of respondents said they get their fly vaccine most often from their local pharmacy or drug store, with an equal number saying their employer is the most common setting to receive it. Primary care providers are the source of flu shots for 44% of respondents.
And while 52% said they choose the vaccine as their method of prevention, flu shots aren’t the only step patients take to reduce their flu risk. Hand sanitizer is the used for 41% of Americans, and 55% drink more water, 50% take vitamins, 44% eat more nutritious food and 43% stay physically fit.
Among those who plan to get vaccines, 76% of seniors ages 65 years and older plan to get a flu shot this year or every year, and October is the most popular month.
"People may not realize that it can actually take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to build immunity," MinuteClinic chief nurse practitioner officer Angela Patterson, said. "For this reason, CVS Pharmacy actually recommends that patients get their flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available to ensure you have the best protection before flu season peaks. Additionally, influenza strains tend to change each year, so it's very important to get vaccinated every year to make sure you are protected."