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Everside Health National Survey Shows Why More Than a Third of Americans Don't Plan to Get Flu Shot

September 28th, 2021 | 3 min. read

By Amber van Niekerk

child getting band aid after a flu shot

DENVER, CO – September 27, 2021 / PRNewswire

A recent national survey of over 2,000 US adults commissioned by Everside Health  and conducted by The Harris Poll shows more than a third (36%) of Americans are not planning to get the flu shot this year. When asked why, 1 in 12 of those who don't plan to get a flu shot (8%) said it was because they had gotten the COVID-19 vaccine and believe it will also protect them from the flu.

"Even if you already received a COVID vaccine you still need your flu shot," said Dr. Tobias Barker, Everside Health Chief Medical Officer. "While some studies address potential correlations between the severity of COVID symptoms and vaccines, the fact is that these vaccines provide protection against two different viruses. A COVID shot will not prevent you from getting the flu."

"It's more important than ever to get a flu shot this year as many hospitals around the country are at or near capacity treating COVID-19 patients," Barker added.

Everside Health is one of the largest direct primary care providers in the United States and operates more than 340 health centers in 33 states located at or near its employer, union, and other benefit sponsor clients. Everside commissioned a national survey out of concern that some people may not be getting flu shots due to misinformation and misunderstandings about the risks.

In addition to believing that the COVID vaccine would also protect them from the flu, 7% of those not planning to get flu shots this year said it was because there were very few flu cases last year so the risk is low.

"Our concern is that many people may be lulled into thinking the flu is not a problem and that's absolutely not the case," said Barker. While it is true that last year's flu season (2020-2021) experienced a record-low number of cases and deaths, part of the reason was that last year at this time, many employees were working remotely, students were learning virtually, and most people were wearing masks and social distancing.

"This year things are different.  Many people are back to work.  Students are largely back in the classroom.  Mask mandates are facing challenges. These factors in combination mean we're all at greater risk of getting the flu this year and can benefit from the added protection of a flu vaccine."

Among those not planning to get a flu shot this year, other reasons they plan not to include:

I didn't get the flu last year 30%
I don't think I'd get that sick if I got the flu so I'm not worried about it 21%
I wear a mask and social distance so those things will protect me from the flu 17%
The flu shot will give me the flu 16%
I work remotely so my exposure to the flu will be relatively low 9%

Regionally, people in the Northeast are more likely than people in the South to say they plan to get a flu shot this year (69% vs. 61%). Married people are also more likely to plan to get a flu shot this year than unmarried people (70% vs. 59%).

In addition, nearly 1 in 5 of those who are employed (full-time/part-time) and don't plan to get a flu shot (18%) said they would get one if it were offered on-site at their workplace.

Everside Health is working with its clients to educate employees about the importance of flu shots, which can help keep employees healthy and also reduce absenteeism and other impacts to productivity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), roughly 36,000 adults die from the flu each year, in addition to hundreds of children.  The worst recent flu season that hit between 2017 and 2018 saw 61,000 adult deaths.

Additional survey results are available to media upon request.


This survey was conducted online within the United States on behalf of Everside Health by The Harris Poll through its agency Falls & Co.  between September 16-20, 2021 among 2,075 US adults ages 18+. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Everside Health media contact Eileen Petridis of Falls & Co. at

About Everside Health

Everside Health, formerly Paladina Health, Activate Healthcare and Healthstat, is one of the largest direct primary care providers in the United States, operating 340+ health centers in 33 states, located at or near the location of its employer, union and other benefit sponsor clients. Everside's patient-focused, care-obsessed, technology-driven healthcare delivery model aims to align incentives to benefit the patient, the provider and the client, all while reducing the total cost of care. Patients receive convenient, low- or no-cost access to providers and 24/7 virtual care, reducing downstream healthcare costs. Everside Health is based in Denver. For more information, visit

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