Women More Likely than Men to Roll Up Their Sleeves for the Flu Shot

With flu season looming, consumers are lining up for the flu shot, according to the most recent consumer snapshot survey by interclick, with 42 percent of Americans planning to be immunized this year. The survey explores consumer behaviors ahead of flu season, including sentiment on the shots, preferred treatment brands, and where they go for the latest news on the flu.

The flu led to 100 million lost work days, nearly $7 billion in lost wages and 32 million missed school days last year, according to the Walgreens Flu Impact Report. This year, nearly half of Americans plan on receiving the shot in hopes of warding off the flu, with a quarter reporting they do so annually.  More women than men will roll up their sleeves with 46 percent of females versus 38 percent of males planning to get the shot.  Of those who opt out of the shot, consumers who identify themselves as not getting sick often or those who have never had the flu are less likely to receive the shot.

When it comes to finding information about the flu, the internet is the new doctor's office for younger generations.   While adults over the age of 35 generally turn to their doctors as expert sources, consumers 18 to 35 trust doctors and online sources at nearly the same rate. In addition to younger generations, women are also visiting the internet for health information, with more than 1 in 4 primarily going online to answer their flu questions.  Overall, online sources come in second as a resource for flu-concerned consumers (33 percent), trailing slightly to television (40 percent).

Once sidelined by the flu, two in three consumers will think of flu-specific brands, while 20 percent will first think of pain relief medications, such as aspirins or acetaminophen.

interclick, in partnership with KN Dimestore, fielded the study in October 2011 to survey nearly 1,300 respondents about the flu.