The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has launched video advertisements and other resources urging patients to get their flu vaccination as well as emphasizing health care disparities.

“Adding to the challenge of defeating COVID-19 is a flu season that is rapidly approaching and presenting the possibility of a 2-front public health war,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven Anderson, FASAE, CAE, IOM, in a press release. “We need to call on Americans to do what they can right now to protect themselves and to protect their loved ones and getting their flu vaccination is a vital part of that.”1

With flu season approaching and health experts continuing to express concern about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, flu vaccinations will be essential to protecting public health and preventing overload of health systems. The campaign includes an online toolkit for patient groups, allied health care associations, businesses, and others to access content, data, and resources.1 NACDS is also promoting flu vaccinations with national satellite media tours and will release more aspects of the campaign soon.1

According to data from the toolkit, just 68% of adults indicated that they get a flu vaccination at least some years, although 27% said they are much more likely to get the vaccination this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, younger adults and Black Americans are less likely, with 51% of both groups saying they will get the vaccine.1

“Each year, influenza in the United States causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths,” said Judy Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, in a press release. “When you add those numbers into illnesses and hospitalizations from COVID-19, which will be co-circulating with the flu, it provides a potentially daunting situation for our health and public health systems. Everyone should get a flu vaccination to protect themselves and others from this dangerous threat.”1

A press release from NACDS noted that the 67% of adults who say getting a flu vaccination is important are significantly lower than the number who believe in the importance of wearing a mask (86%), washing hands (93%), physical distancing (89%), and staying home when sick (93%).2

“Flu vaccinations are safe, effective, and easy to get, and they are available for free under many insurance plans,” Anderson concluded. “Let’s beat the flu together, and pharmacies also will be there to defeat COVID-19 when those vaccinations are available.”1

REFERENCES
  1. NACDS Urges Flu Vaccinations as Two-Front Public Health War Looms with COVID-19 [news release]. National Association of Chain Drug Stores; September 2, 2020. Email; Accessed September 2, 2020.
  2. NACDS Poll Results: Flu Vaccinations; September 2, 2020. http://www.nacds.org/pdfs/comm/2020/NACDS-FluPoll2020.pdf. Accessed September 2, 2020.