Nearly one-half of women in a gender-specific survey said they had no intention of receiving the influenza vaccine. Their reason? The influenza vaccine causes the flu.
According to the survey, 44% of respondents saw influenza as the most serious vaccine-preventable threat to their health over the next 5 years. Ironically, 49% of survey respondents did not intend to get an influenza vaccine.
“There are lots of tools today for adults to educate themselves about which vaccines they might need,” Susan Rehm, MD, Medical Director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and Vice Chair of the Department of Infectious Disease at the Cleveland Clinic, told Pharmacy Today.
She said pharmacists are one important resource. More than one-quarter of the women who did get an influenza vaccine received it at a pharmacy.
“I’ve seen that retail pharmacies are a convenient place for patients to get their immunizations and they can also receive counseling on vaccines and other immunizations that they might benefit from,” said Rehm.
The survey, sponsored by NFID and Rite Aid, was based on the collection of data from a telephone questionnaire of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. adult women aged 26 years to 74 years.
When asked about a range of other common vaccines, some of which are recommended only for targeted age groups, most respondents reported that they were not up to date.
In addition, 79% of women said they would find an immunization evaluation from a pharmacy helpful. In response, Rite Aid said it is launching a multifaceted online platform designed to help raise awareness about vaccines.