September 23, 2015
A Reminder to Pharmacy Customers: Flu Shot Can Help Avoid Missed Life Events

Woonsocket, RI—Pharmacists looking for a way to better market influenza vaccines might focus on this statistic: More than a third of U.S. adults report that they have missed an important event because they were sick with the flu.

That’s according to a recent survey from CVS/pharmacy. According to the 37% of respondents who missed a life event, 17% said it was a get-together with friends, 17% said they had to forego a family gathering, and 13% said they were a no-go for a work meeting or presentation.

Those filling out the survey said they would be most upset if the flu caused them to miss a vacation getaway (63%), family gathering (56%), wedding (54%), graduation (47%), and birthday party (43%).

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CVS/pharmacy in July 2015 among more than 2,000 U.S. adults.

Slightly more than half, 58%, indicated that they get a flu shot every year or plan to get one this year because:

• they believe it is the best way to prevent getting the flu (65%);
• to protect their family from the infection (38%); or
• because they don’t want to miss important life events because of illness (26%).

The rate was even higher for older respondents age 65 and older. More than three fourths of them (76%) said they get the flu vaccine every year and/or plan on getting the flu shot this year.

In good news for pharmacies, among respondents who had ever received a flu shot, 38% indicated that convenience plays a major role in their decision about where to be immunized.

Additionally, 92% of those responding to the CVS survey said they would take actions to protect themselves from contracting the flu—including regularly washing hands as often as possible (77%), drinking more water (58%), taking vitamins (55%), eating more nutritious food (50%), wiping down surface areas with sanitizing wipes (46%), and regularly using hand sanitizer (45%).

On the other hand, two-thirds (67%) of employed respondents said they would go to work even if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms.
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