PrescribeWellness Survey: 89 Percent of Americans Feel Shingles Vaccination Is a Priority

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Survey also revealed that majority of Americans prefer visiting their neighborhood pharmacy instead of their doctor’s office for many healthcare services.

IRVINE, Calif.–PrescribeWellness, the cloud-based services company whose mission is to inspire collaboration for better health, today announced the results of its 2017 Vaccination and Preventive Care Survey. The survey, which was conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of PrescribeWellness and fielded to 1,000 American adults aged 35+, gauged Americans’ feelings about vaccination, medical records and neighborhood pharmacies.

Vaccination Nation

According to the CDC, one in three people will develop shingles in their lifetime and Americans are taking this risk seriously: 89 percent think it is important to take shingles immunization seriously—because shingles is painful (73 percent) and takes a long time to heal (56 percent), because the virus can lie dormant for decades (60 percent) and because it often affects the elderly, who are often less capable of caring for themselves (48 percent).

Forty percent of Americans have been directly affected by the shingles epidemic in some way:

  • 22 percent say a member of their immediate or extended family has had shingles
  • 14 percent say they or their spouse has suffered from shingles
  • 12 percent have friends who have been affected

“It’s wonderful that Americans are taking the shingles immunization seriously, as the vaccine significantly reduces a person’s risk of developing herpes zoster,” said Farah Madhat, PharmD, a licensed pharmacist and Director of Clinical Services at PrescribeWellness. “But there are other vaccines they should also make a priority. The pneumococcal and flu vaccines are also effective, inexpensive and readily available at local pharmacies without a prescription in most states. Pneumococcal disease can cause severe infections of the lungs—pneumonia—bloodstream and lining of the brain and spinal cord, more commonly known as meningitis. Each year in the United States, pneumococcal disease kills thousands of adults and hospitalizes thousands more.”

Eighty-six percent of Americans also feel it is important for the state to be updated on their vaccine records. Top reasons include:

  • So doctors can more easily know which vaccines they’ve received—44 percent
  • Helps doctors and pharmacists to provide quality care—32 percent
  • Creates more transparency into their medical history—25 percent
  • Makes switching doctors/pharmacists easier—23 percent

Americans prefer neighborhood pharmacies for many things

The survey also revealed that many Americans prefer visiting their local pharmacy to visiting their doctor’s office—62 percent, in fact.

Most of the reasons hinged upon convenience:

  • Their pharmacy is a “one-stop shop” for many health and wellness needs—26 percent
  • The local pharmacy is easier to get to than the doctor’s office—24 percent
  • They get faster (23 percent) and friendlier (22 percent) service
  • Their pharmacist helps keep their medications in order—19 percent

Twenty-one percent of American parents say they prefer visiting their local pharmacy because it is more convenient than visiting a doctor’s office when they have the kids with them.

More than half of Americans (55 percent) said they prefer to be immunized at their local pharmacies instead of at the doctor’s office, citing many of the same reasons. This included 28 percent of parents, who enjoy the convenience of getting the whole family immunized at once.

A mess of medical records

When it comes to managing their medical records, most Americans say they try to stay with the same doctor who knows their medical history (56 percent), but the remaining 44 percent report less fail-safe methods of managing their medical histories:

  • 15 percent hope previous providers share information with new ones
  • 8 percent say they verbally update new care providers
  • 5 percent carry paper records
  • 5 percent say they don’t update new health providers at all

This is perhaps why the vast majority of Americans (85 percent) agree that it would be useful if their pharmacist could share medication purchase records electronically with their physicians.

“These survey findings confirm the willingness of consumers to get proactive about their healthcare options and preventive care,” said Al Babbington, CEO of PrescribeWellness. “It also speaks to the many opportunities for neighborhood pharmacies to better help Americans on the path to better health management—from immunization and medication adherence to managing medical records—and we look forward to aiding them in that mission.”

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