Flu Vaccinations Shifting From Doctors to Clinics, Work and Pharmacies

Higher flu vaccination rates reported at alternative locations as compared to doctor offices
people bailey in line
(Precision Vaccinations)

According to new research presented on October 5, 2018, influenza vaccinations occurring in doctor’s offices are becoming less frequent. 

But, there is some good news!

Flu vaccinations at alternative settings such as a pharmacy are helping increase the number of flu shots delivered before the November 1st deadline that is established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   

In a new poster study presented at IDWeek of 130,615 patients aged between 18-64 years old, had higher rates of early influenza vaccination at clinics, pharmacies, and work, as compared to a doctor’s offices. 

In this age-stratified analyses by Megan Luther, Pharm.D., College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, patients 18-64 had higher odds of early vaccination at:

  • Clinics (odds ratio 1.11)
  • Pharmacies (odds ratio 1.09)
  • Work (odds ratio 1.88)

Moreover, those high-risk patients over 65 years of age reported even higher rates of early flu vaccination at pharmacies (odds ratio 1.17) and work (odds ratio 1.67). 

Dr. Luther concluded her report saying ‘there is an association between vaccination setting and vaccination timing.’ 

Moreover, ‘non-traditional settings such as a pharmacy or work help increase the odds of receiving a flu shot before the end of October each year.’ 

And, vaccination programs in non-traditional settings should consider targeting the later months during the flu season to increase vaccination participation. 

This research is important given the severity of the 2017-18 flu season. 

According to the CDC, an estimated 80,000 Americans died of influenza and its complications during the 2017-18 season. 

Including 183 pediatric deaths reported to the CDC as of October 12, 2018. 

That was the highest death toll from the flu in at least 4 decades. 

Since it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protects against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

Most pharmacies in the USA offer several FDA approved flu and vaccines. 

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector prices for general information. 

Flu vaccine discounts can be found here. 

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.

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