Kantar Health Data Shows Flu Vaccinations Have Increased but Are Still Well Below Targets

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The number of people receiving the influenza vaccination has steadily increased since 2007, according to National Health and Wellness Survey.

Healthcare professionals must place a greater emphasis on the importance of vaccination, particularly for minorities and high-risk populations, to address this important public health issue.

Influenza vaccination rates have steadily increased in the United States since 2007, but overall rates were still low and below national targets, according to new findings from the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS), conducted by Kantar Health. The vaccination rates for influenza among high-risk groups, or those who are most likely to develop complications from a viral infection, are well below the 100% target.

The rate of influenza vaccination in adults steadily increased from 28% in 2007 to 34% in 2012. Across high-risk respondents, only 53.5% received the influenza vaccine, with pregnant women being the least likely to have received the vaccine (37%) and those with renal/kidney disease being the most likely (70%).

“Beginning in 2010-2011, the Centers for Disease Control issued a universal recommendation for the influenza vaccine for all those over 6 months of age; before that, only groups at risk for developing complications were recommended to receive the vaccine,” said Marco DiBonaventura, Ph.D., Vice President, Health Outcomes, at Kantar Health. “However, self-reported patient data suggests a considerable gap between the recommendation and actual vaccination rates among these high-risk groups. And despite the observed increase among the general population, overall rates of influenza vaccination were still low and below national targets.”

Among respondents who did not receive the influenza vaccine, most said they did not do so because they believed that the vaccine was either not important (42%) or not effective (21%). Other reasons for not being vaccinated included respondents not wanting to get sick from the flu due to the vaccine or believing they were now resistant because they had the flu earlier in the season.

“Reasons for not getting vaccinated suggest the major obstacle is overcoming the belief that the vaccine is either unimportant or ineffective,” DiBonaventura said. “Healthcare professionals must place a greater emphasis on the importance of vaccination, particularly for minorities and high-risk populations, to address this important public health issue.”

About the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS)
The study’s results were drawn from the U.S. NHWS, a nationally representative, self-administered survey conducted annually via the Internet. Topics covered include the health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among adults 18 or older.

Kantar Health conducts NHWS annually in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. The survey is the largest self-reported database in the healthcare industry.

About Kantar Health (http://www.kantarhealth.com)
Kantar Health is a global, evidence-based decision support partner to the world’s leading pharmaceutical, biotech, device and diagnostic companies. Our 700+ staff act as catalysts, working closely with customers to drive distinctive decision-making that helps them prioritize product development and portfolios, differentiate their brands and ensure product profitability after launch. We are unique in that we bring together clinical, medical and methodological expertise, commercial/marketing know-how and proprietary data. It is this rare combination, together with our unparalleled stakeholder reach, that enables us to mobilize incisive, imaginative and timely ROI-driven solutions, empowering clients to deliver better healthcare options to their customers.

With staff in over 40 countries, we excel at solving technically or logistically challenging projects around the world and across the product lifecycle, combining on-the-ground know-how and global and national proprietary data to quickly identify value drivers. As part of WPP, we can also incorporate highly innovative thinking from outside the industry into our solutions.

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Stacy Sevcik
Kantar Health
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