Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Opted for Flu Vaccine in 2012

By Mia Burns (mia.burns@ubm.com)

More than 104 million adults reported receiving the flu vaccine in 2012, indicating a nine percent increase year-over-year, according to Kantar Media’s MARS OTC/DTC Study. Despite this increase, only 44 percent of all U.S. adults said that they received the vaccine last year. Among those that did, the majority was more than 50 years old; this age group was 23 percent more likely to get the flu vaccine. Adults between the ages of 18 to 34 years are 25 percent less likely to get the flu vaccine.

According to the research, adults who receive the flu vaccine possess the following characteristics: They are 16 percent more likely than all adults to take medication at the first sign of pain or discomfort; 14 percent more likely to participate in preventative healthcare; 18 percent more likely to say they normally only use drug brands that are recommended by their physician; 19 percent more likely to often discuss new Rx medications with their doctor; 17 percent more likely to say they always do what their doctor tells them to do;  and 17 percent more likely to find the treatments their doctor prescribes to work nearly all the time.

“Getting a flu vaccine does not seem to be influenced by their current health or current stress level,” Kantar Media’s Healthcare Research Team told Med Ad News Daily. “But rather their outlook regarding their future health, (23 percent more likely to be pessimistic), they’re taking preventative measures which goes to the fact that they’re more likely to participate in preventative healthcare.”

The research team says that it found overall health did not seem to determine whether or not an adult gets the flu vaccine. Those in fair or poor health are only very slightly (9 percent) more likely to say they received it.

Regarding healthcare insurance, Kantar Media says, “Since more adults over the age of 50 are vaccinated, those receiving the flu shot are more likely to be on Medicare (59 percent more likely) and they tend to have supplemental insurance. Conversely, those who didn’t get vaccinated are 46 percent more likely to not have medical insurance. People who received the flu vaccine are 38 percent more likely to describe their relationship with primary care physicians as excellent.”

Posted: December 2013


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