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HCPs play an even bigger role in driving vaccine rates among older adults than you might think

Since the 1960s, regular influenza vaccines have been recommended by public health officials. This is especially important for the older population since they are at a higher risk of serious flu and flu-related complications.  

In the US, officials generally are pleased if a flu vaccine is 40% to 60% effective—and this season the vaccines were over the 40% threshold. While much of this work should be attributed to the vaccines themselves, the job of boosting vaccination rates among patients typically falls to frontline healthcare workers and physicians. 

While misinformation and negative public perception of the covid vaccines put the relevance of common historical shots—like shingles, pneumonia, and the flu—to the test, many HCPs were successful in convincing their older patients to take their shots in the 2022/2023 flu season. 

Sermo conducted a custom RealTime survey among physicians and HCPs in the US and EU5 to better understand their older patient’s behavior towards flu vaccines.​ The survey included a total of 221 physicians (Cardiologists, Endocrinologists, PCPs, and Pulmonologists) and HCPs (NP/PAs, Nurses, and Retail Pharmacists) who have vaccinated or recommended at least 50 patients aged 65 years old or older during the current 2022/2023 flu season.  

Let’s look at the findings. 

High dose vs. standard vaccines 

Despite the recommendation of high-dose flu vaccines for seniors in the US by the CDC (policies and guidelines differ in EU5 countries), HCPs prefer the standard dose when vaccinating patients aged 65 years or older. 

The good news is that many are getting vaccinated, even if just through standard levels. HCPs report that, on average, 85% of their patients aged 65 years or older have received the flu vaccine this 2022/2023 season​. 

Misinformation and concerns 

HCPs have experienced reluctance and concerns about the flu vaccine from almost all senior patients this year. 85% of their 65+ years old patients express reluctance or concerns about receiving the flu vaccine​. This hesitancy is caused by a mix of misinformation and disinformation​.

Discussing the risks and benefits of the flu vaccine is physicians’ preferred way to address patient concerns​. And it is working given the high flu vaccination reported rate.​ 

What other questions would ask Sermo’s community of 1.3M+ HCPs about the Flu Vaccine? Tell us at 


On behalf of Sermo, thank you for checking out our blog post on flu vaccines. This is just one of the many examples of native engagement opportunities and insights available with RealTime studies on Sermo.   

At Sermo, we turn physician experience, expertise, and observations into actionable insights for the global healthcare community. Engaging with more than 1 million HCPs across 150 countries, we provide physicians with a social platform that fosters impactful peer-to-peer collaboration & discussions about issues that are important to them and their patients. Sermo offers on-demand access to physicians via a suite of proprietary technology to provide business intelligence that benefits pharmaceutical, healthcare partners and the medical community at large.   

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