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Flu Vaccine Uptake Among Seniors Has Increased Steadily Since 2015


Avalere experts recently presented “A Comprehensive Analysis of Influenza Vaccine Uptake in Medicare” at the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit in Atlanta, GA.

The research examined influenza vaccine uptake trends among adults over the age of 65 in terms of state-by-state comparisons, use of vaccine formulations, and the setting of administration.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), influenza vaccination rates have historically remained low, hovering around 43% among adults during the 2016–2017 season and dropping to 37% in the 2017–2018 season, while immunization rates among adults over the age of 65 years were approximately 65%. The CDC estimates that during the 2017–2018 season, influenza infections resulted in 22 million medical visits, nearly 960,000 hospitalizations, and nearly 80,000 deaths, with the highest burden of disease among more vulnerable populations including adults over the age of 65 years. The CDC estimates that during the 2017–2018 season, adults over the age of 65 accounted for 959,134 hospitalizations and 79,416 deaths.

To conduct this research, the Avalere team analyzed Medicare Part B fee-for-service (FFS) claims data 2015 to 2018 under Avalere’s data use agreement with the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. Avalere identified a sample of Medicare beneficiaries, which was defined as all patients 65 years of age and older at the start of the analysis period who were covered by Medicare Part B FFS at the start of and through the entire analysis period. All beneficiaries in the cohort were assigned their state of residence for any regional analyses.

Avalere’s research found the following:

  • Region 9 (Arizona, California, and Nevada) had significantly lower uptake rates across all seasons, remaining between 34% and 39% between 2015 and 2018
  • Region 1 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island) and Region 7 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) had the highest vaccination rates
  • Among sample Medicare beneficiaries, 41% received an influenza vaccine during the 2015–2016 season, while 43% and 45% were vaccinated during the 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 seasons

View the full poster presentation.

To learn more about vaccination rates, connect with us.

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