A national survey from Rite Aid and National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) reveals that the majority of adult women living in the United States do not believe they are up to date on vaccinations to protect against many preventable diseases.
According to a telephone survey of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. adult women age 26-74, 70 percent of survey participants reported receiving at least one vaccination in the last five years to prevent disease—most often citing the flu and tetanus vaccines. When asked about a range of other common vaccines, some of which are recommended only for targeted age groups, most respondents reported they were not up to date.
The survey also indicated that 60 percent of women intended to receive a vaccination in the next five years. The vaccine-preventable diseases women saw as the most serious threats to their health included influenza/flu (44 percent), pneumonia (26 percent), and shingles (20 percent). Although 44 percent viewed flu as a serious threat to their health in the next five years, the survey showed that 49 percent do not intend to get a flu vaccine in that same time frame, indicating that perceived risk does not necessarily align with vaccination behavior.
“At a time when vaccine-preventable diseases like flu, shingles, whooping cough, and measles are highly visible in the media around the country, this survey supports what we as community pharmacists already knew—that there is clearly a need to educate consumers and raise awareness about the importance of vaccinations,” says Robert Thompson, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy.
The survey also found that 79 percent of women reported they would find an immunization evaluation from a pharmacy helpful. In response, Rite Aid is announcing the launch of Vaccine Central, a multi-faceted online platform designed to help raise awareness about vaccines and promote vaccinations. Rite Aid pharmacists, all of whom are certified immunizers, are available to consult with customers and answer any vaccination questions.
“Education and prevention are central to the NFID mission,” notes Marla Dalton, NFID executive director. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 50,000 adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. every year. It is important for adults to understand which vaccines are recommended for them and when. Any tool that helps consumers in this process is a valuable asset to public health.”
At Rite Aid’s Vaccine Central, located at www.riteaid.com/vaccinecentral, visitors can complete an immunization evaluation, track their personal immunization history, and find other educational resources on immunizations.
Adds Thompson, “Our new immunization assessment tool puts important resources like vaccine recommendations, information about vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization records right at the fingertips of consumers, helping them to make important healthcare decisions for themselves and their families, now and in the future.”
More than 25 percent of U.S. women who reported receiving a flu vaccine in the past year did so at a drug store. Approximately 3 out of 10 women (29 percent) consult their pharmacists about infectious diseases, vaccines, and immunizations. The misconception that a flu shot causes the flu was the leading response (28 percent) as to why survey participants did not receive the vaccine
This telephone survey was conducted by international polling firm Ipsos Sept. 2-20, 2014 among a representative randomly selected sample of 1,000 women between the ages of 26 to 74. The results are considered accurate to within ± 3.1 percentage points. The margin of error will be larger within sub-groupings of the survey population.
Source: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)