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For Immediate Release

Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll Finds More Americans Plan to Receive Flu Shots than a Year Ago

Many Hold-Outs Still Believe They ‘Do Not Need’ the Flu Shot

Ann Arbor, MI, Nov. 27, 2015 — More Americans have either already received a flu shot or plan to get one this year than those who received the vaccination a year ago, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll. Truven Health Analytics™ and NPR conduct a bimonthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

The latest survey asked respondents for their opinions regarding flu shots. Sixty-two percent of respondents had either already received a flu shot or planned to get one this year. This reflects a 6 percentage point jump from the number of respondents who said they had received the shot last year.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said their latest flu vaccine cost them nothing out of pocket. Thirty-five percent received the shot at a doctor’s office, followed by 27 percent who received it at a pharmacy and 16 percent who received it at their place of employment. When those who said they would not receive a flu shot were asked why they will abstain, the most common response was that it was not needed (48 percent), followed by a concern about side effects (16 percent), fear of getting the flu because of the vaccination (14 percent), and belief that the shot is ineffective (8 percent).

“Unfortunately, the erroneous belief that receiving the vaccine will cause influenza is still fairly common, as this survey shows. The vaccine contains ‘killed virus, ’ so there is no risk of contracting influenza from the vaccine. However, the inhaled version does have live virus particles, so this form of vaccine does carry a slight risk, ” said Michael Taylor, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Truven Health Analytics. “The other issue noted from the survey is the idea that people ‘don’t need it.’ If more people receive the vaccine, it is harder for the virus to spread. From a public health perspective, if more Americans receive the vaccine, it would be more difficult for an epidemic to develop.”

To date, the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll has explored numerous health topics, including generic drugs, vaccines, data privacy, narcotic painkillers and sports-related concussions. NPR's reports on the surveys are archived online at the Shots health blog here.

Truven Health Analytics maintains a library of poll results here.

The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health PULSE® Healthcare Survey, the nation’s largest and longest-running independently funded, nationally representative multi-modal poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from 82, 000 US households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3, 008 participants interviewed from October 1-15, 2015. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

About NPR NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public - one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

About Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health Business

Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson Health™ business, provides market-leading performance improvement solutions built on data integrity, advanced analytics and domain expertise. For more than 40 years, our insights and solutions have been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies and policymakers, the facts they need to make confident decisions that directly affect the health and well-being of people and organizations in the US and around the world. The company was acquired by IBM in 2016 to help form a new business, Watson Health. Watson Health aspires to improve lives and give hope by delivering innovation to address the world’s most pressing health challenges through data and cognitive insights.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan®, 100 Top Hospitals®, Advantage Suite®, Micromedex®, Simpler® and ActionOI®. Truven Health has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, MI, Chicago, IL, and Denver, CO.


Brian Erni
For Truven Health Analytics
J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations