RetireSafe sent out a survey of 9 questions on getting vaccinated against pneumonia. We received 1,182 completed surveys! We thank you for your input. Knowing how you feel helps us as we advocate for you in Washington. Below are the results of that survey.
Question 1 - What is your age?
78% of you were 65 or older. With only about 2% under 50.
Question 2 - Have you been vaccinated against pneumonia?
Congratulations! 62% of you have been vaccinated against pneumonia, you’re on the right track.
Question 3 - Have you ever had pneumonia?
About two thirds of you have never had pneumonia, that’s great. Did you know that once you have had pneumonia you are more likely to get it again, and it has been shown that pneumonia sufferers’ lives are SHORTENED by an average of FOUR years? That makes it even more important for the one third of you that have had pneumonia to get vaccinated so you can avoid catching it again.
Question 4 - Do you think more education and awareness about pneumonia and the benefits of vaccinations would make community spaces for active older Americans, such as senior centers, safer environments?
While some may think this answer is a no-brainer (at least 82% answered yes or maybe), there is a lot of misinformation out there (see question 5) so getting the facts out is still very important.
Question 5 - Have you ever hesitated to get vaccinated due to rumors about possible dangers?
60% of you said you had no hesitation in getting vaccinated. We hope that the 38% of you that didn’t get vaccinated (see question 2) was mostly due to other reasons rather than deciding not to get vaccinated because of the false information about the purported dangers associated with vaccinations.
Question 6 - Do you think a decision by the CDC to limit or reduce/alter the recommendation for adults aged 65+ to receive the pneumonia vaccine could pose a risk to the health and well-being of seniors?
As you’ve probably guessed, RetireSafe encourages older Americans to get vaccinated. We think it saves lives and lowers health costs. We think any reduction or alteration of the current CDC recommendation will increase the chance of sickness or even death of those of us over 65. Over 64% of you agreed.
Question 7 - Do you feel that the reduced Medicare payments is worth the reduced emphasis on seniors getting vaccinated?
RetireSafe’s fear is that the CDC’s reasoning for reducing or altering their 65+ recommendation is an effort to reduce Medicare costs. We feel these few pennies saved will create future financial and health risks by causing more seniors to get pneumonia, be hospitalized, or even die. 73% of you agreed that the small cost of vaccinations is worth the overall health of seniors.
Question 8 - Do you think RetireSafe should speak out in opposition to limiting or reducing the vaccination recommendations?
We are emboldened that almost 72% of you wanted RetireSafe to speak out in opposition to altering/reducing the vaccination recommendations. This clear consensus gives us the ability to speak loudly and bluntly to those in our government, especially the CDC, about your firm desire to continue the existing recommendation for pneumonia vaccinations.
Question 9 - Tell us how you feel about vaccinations, pneumonia and anything in this survey.
A lot of you took the time to comment, 65% to be precise. That’s a great percentage and we really appreciate it. Those that were against keeping the CDC 65 age recommendation, i.e. those that had a negative attitude toward vaccinations, spoke out much more, 82% of you left a comment in question 9. This is compared to the only 55% that commented from those that had a favorable attitude toward vaccinations. The naysayers seem to speak the loudest and more often. We appreciated all the comments and hope that through education we can get the truth out about the positive impact pneumonia vaccinations has on the lives of older Americans.
Our respondents overwhelmingly think we should speak out against changing the current CDC recommendation for getting their pneumonia vaccination at 65. The survey data supports the importance of this recommendation. Our survey shows that 29% of those between 50 and 64 have been vaccinated compared to 71% between 65 and 74. We think this huge increase in pneumonia vaccinations has a great deal to do with doctors telling their patients that the CDC recommends they get their pneumonia shots when they are 65 and older. Just another indication that we need to keep this important recommendation.
Our survey also revealed the continuation of the troubling trend of people believing the pervasive talk about supposed dangers in getting vaccinated. 38% of our respondents had hesitated to get vaccinated because of this misinformation. We hope that RetireSafe’s efforts to encourage seniors to get vaccinated and our educational efforts around the tremendous benefits of getting your pneumonia shots, will convince seniors to take action, get vaccinated and encourage the CDC to keep this life altering and lifesaving vaccination recommendation intact.
Thair Phillips - President, RetireSafe