Less than half of college students get a flu shot each year
Although most college students in the U.S. believe it is important to get an annual influenza vaccine, less than half (46%) say they typically get vaccinated, according to a new National Foundation for Infectious Diseases survey released earlier this month.
College students are at particularly high risk of getting, and spreading, flu because of frequent exposure to high-touch areas like common living spaces and classrooms, and participation in social activities. On U.S. college campuses, flu vaccination rates remain low, falling dramatically short of the 70% Healthy People 2020 target recommendation, NFID reported.
"As a healthcare community, we've long known that college students are profoundly under-vaccinated. This new research indicates that a combination of education and incentives may be an effective way to reach college students who have been apprehensive about vaccination in the past," stated Lisa Ipp, NFID board member. "We now plan to work with academic, health, advocacy and student leaders to share these insights and uncover additional best practices to drive improvements in flu immunization efforts on campuses."
College students would respond to incentives, however, the surey found, with 61% suggesting they would get a flu shot that was at a low cost or not cost to them. A similar number of students reported they would get the flu vaccine if there was free food or gift cards coupled with the vaccination.
Among students who do not typically receive a seasonal flu vaccine, the top reasons for not getting vaccinated include a mix of misperception, fear and skepticism. As many as 36% reported that they were healthy and wouldn't need it; 31% said they don't like needles; and 30% said they don't think the vaccine works. Additionally, nearly three in five students (59%) seem to think that the flu vaccine can cause the flu and 59% don't think it's likely they'll get the flu in the next 12 months.
Family and healthcare professionals all play an important role in flu-related decision-making. When it comes to flu vaccine decision-making, college students note they rely a lot on the advice of a parent/guardian or other family member (48%); healthcare professionals (44%); the student health center on their campus (24%); and friends/peers (20%).
In 2016, NFID convened a College Influenza Stakeholder Summit to discuss the challenges of increasing flu vaccination rates on college campuses. This survey serves as a next step in better understanding the attitudes of college students related to flu.
Lupin’s Safyral generic Tydemy gets FDA nod
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Mumbai-based Lupin’s Tydemy. The product is a generic version of Bayer’s Safyral (drospirenone, ethinyl estradiol, and levomefolate calcium tablets, 3 mg/0.03 mg/0.451 mg and levomefolate calcium tablets, 0.451 mg).
Tydemi is indicated as a contraceptive against pregnancy. The product had U.S. sales of approximately $22.9 million for the 12 months ended October 2017, according to data from IQVIA
Colleagues weigh in on Wiesner’s impact
Over the course of his career, DSN 2017 Pharmacy Innovator of the Year Dennis Wiesner worked with colleagues both in and outside of H-E-B. Here’s what they had to say about him.
Jay Bueche, H-E-B director of pharmacy managed care
“I had the pleasure of working for Dennis for more than six years. He is known for having a sharp eye for detail and was always free to offer feedback, as well as gracious with his time. But he also always stressed that his comments were meant to provide another perspective, not the only answer to a problem.”
“It is still hard to imagine H-E-B Pharmacy without Dennis Wiesner. Early in my career, he was literally responsible for every aspect of our pharmacy systems. When I first had the opportunity to interview with Dennis for a corporate role, he had an entire white board full of his responsibilities. Years later, I was actually glad not to have been given that job, because it was truly a daunting list, including pricing, DUR, programming, system maintenance, etc.
Steve Anderson, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores
“Dennis has contributed substantially to H-E-B’s success, to the advancement of the industry and of the profession, and to the improvement of patient care for H-E-B customers and for all Americans. In recognition of everything he has done through NACDS for this purpose, we bestowed on him NACDS’ highest honor — the Harold W. Pratt Award — at our first NACDS Total Store Expo in 2013. He is an ideal recipient of DSN’s Pharmacy Innovator Award.”
“You can go through an extensive list of Dennis’ contributions to NACDS: chairing the NACDS Policy Council, which recommends issue positions to the Board of Directors; testifying on Capitol Hill on tough topics; engaging in the NACDS RxIMPACT grassroots advocacy program; and so much more.”
Craig Norman, H-E-B senior vice president of pharmacy
“I first met Dennis in the fall of 2005 during my first visit to H-E-B. At that time, Dennis had been tasked with
keeping the pharmacy department on the right track after the departure of [its] vice president. As with any challenge, Dennis dove into this in great detail and strategically tweaked the alignment of responsibilities within the team, secured an extension with our primary wholesaler and reinstated our annual pharmacists conferenceto insure our partners that we were strategically positioned for success.”
“Over the years, Dennis built a tremendous reputation within the industry for his openness, knowledge and candor on any topic involving the profession. He was that “trusted advisor” to many associations and groups outside of H-E-B and ultimately, he has played a tremendous role in the stellar reputation H-E-B Pharmacy enjoys in the industry today.”
Donna Montemayor, H-E-B senior director of professional services, marketing and strategic initiatives
“I think what made Dennis so successful was his ability to relate to everyone he met at their level. He is the most diplomatic person I ever met, and I noticed that it took a lot to make him angry or upset. Even when he did get angry, he was still calm.”
“I quickly came to see that I could trust Dennis to give me the best advice and direction. No matter what level he was on at a particular time, whether it was as at the store level, as a pharmacist or at the corporate level, he could always relate to the situation and explain the solution so that everyone could grasp the concept.”
Mike McBride, vice president-partner relations, Upsher-Smith Laboratories
“The Upsher-Smith Laboratories team wishes Dennis all the best in his retirement, but we will miss his passionate support of the profession of pharmacy. Dennis has been a consistent champion of pharmacists in our industry. He has advocated for the role of pharmacists in the delivery of quality healthcare to patients, and has helped advance the ongoing effort to expand their status as providers of care.”
“We know Dennis will have more time in retirement for the people and things he enjoys most, but trust he’ll continue to be involved in the profession of pharmacy in one way or another. We hope our paths may continue to cross.”
Doug Read, H-E-B director of pharmacy compliance and regulatory affairs
“Dennis Wiesner was the ultimate boss and leader. From the time I started with him almost seven years ago, he has been my mentor and friend through all the good times and a few bad times. He is a man of integrity and loyalty. You could always count on a well-thought out and experienced response when you presented him with a question or thought. Always a man of patience, I think I only saw him get flustered once or twice over these seven years, but that can happen when the DEA comes knocking.”