While flu season starts around October, the flu activity peaks between December and February. Every year 5% to 20% of the U.S. population is affected by the influenza virus with costs associated with direct hospitalization and outpatient visits totaling over $10 billion, according to the CDC.
As pharmacies prepare to go into the peak of this flu season, focusing on accurate vaccine inventory management is crucial. Since flu shots are a popular value-added service that many local pharmacies offer to build patient relationships, vaccine shortages created by inadequate planning may adversely affect patient loyalty. Vaccine availability, convenience, and ease of access are the key pharmacy benefits that bring in new patients and retain existing ones, thus being incredibly important to focus on.
DOWNLOAD the 2019 Influenza Trends infographic from LexisNexis Risk Solutions Health Care for the nationwide virus trends and the demographic statistics.
Applying these statistics to the local community demographics could help accuracy in pharmacy inventory management to avoid flu vaccine shortages.