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November 29, 2018
Flu Vaccine Misconceptions at Highest Levels in Past Three Years as
100th Anniversary of Flu Pandemic Concludes, According to New Data from InCrowd
51% of US primary care physicians say confusion exists around flu shots for patients who decline them, up from 44%
WATERTOWN, MA November 29, 2018—Misconceptions about the risks and benefits of the seasonal flu vaccine—the leading reason that patients decline shots—increased in 2018 to the highest level in three years, according to new data on US primary care physician (PCPs) perceptions about the flu vaccine from InCrowd, pioneer of the real-time market intelligence platform for the life sciences.
“On this, the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic when an estimated 50 million people died in the decades before a flu vaccine became available, InCrowd’s results suggest we need to keep up the public education campaign on the benefits of the flu vaccine lest we experience another global health crisis,” said Diane Hayes, Ph.D., epidemiologist and co-founder of InCrowd who directed the microsurvey.
The annual five-minute microsurvey monitors perceptions among US PCPs who administer the flu vaccine about their patients’ reasons for non-vaccination, where patients get their flu shot, physician thoughts on the benefits and limitations of pharmacy or grocery store vaccinations, and clinic requirements for staff vaccinations.
While the majority of patients do consent to a flu shot—an estimated 79% of patients in 2018—51% of PCPs responding this year report patient misconceptions around the risks and benefits of flu shots, up from 44% in 2017, and 2016.“Most people need reassurance that the flu shot will not cause them to get the flu,” said a PCP from Tennessee. The second largest reason for patients declining a flu shot was that they don’t get sick or never get the flu, at 32% this year. While anti-vaccination sentiment was offered as a reason, only 6% noted it in 2018.
The PCP perception microsurvey also found that:
The 5-minute microsurvey of physician perceptions on the flu vaccine included data from 201 PCPs who administer a flu vaccine and responded between October 23 -25, 2018. The companion microsurvey of pharmacists who administer flu vaccine included 50 pharmacists who responded on November 16, 2018.
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