Press Releases

COVID-19 Variants Concern Vaccinated Older Adults According to Oak Street Health World Immunization Week Survey

Value-based Primary Care Leader Shares Insights from Seniors on Vaccination Experience, Encourages Continued Care & Vaccinations for Other Illnesses

CHICAGO, IL  April 21, 2021 — Ahead of World Immunization Week beginning April 24, Oak Street Health (NYSE: OSH), a network of value-based primary care centers for adults on Medicare, surveyed 1,000 older adults, aged 65+, to understand how the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has impacted them and to gain insights into their sentiments toward vaccines in general. The survey revealed the following:

  • Even with the vaccine, nearly half of older adults surveyed feel worried about contracting new variants of the COVID-19 virus. According to the results, 46% of older adults surveyed who have received, or will receive, the vaccine still feel very worried, or somewhat worried, about contracting new COVID-19 variants.
  • Visiting with family is a priority for older adults – but there is still a lack of comfort in seeing adult family members who have not been vaccinated. In a survey focused on one-year pandemic reflections from Oak Street Health, 52% of older adults surveyed reported that they are planning to visit with family or friends more in the coming year. However, when asked about comfort level seeing unvaccinated adult family members this month, sentiment was mixed:
    • 25 percent said they feel very comfortable seeing adult family members
    • 33 percent feel somewhat comfortable
    • 30 percent feel somewhat uncomfortable
    • 13 percent feel very uncomfortable
  • Older adults are primarily looking to government-owned vaccination sites, like community centers, and hospitals to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Older adults surveyed said they received, or will receive, their vaccine at a government-owned vaccination site (34%) or a hospital (36%). Typically, however, seniors surveyed said they get their normal immunizations from either their primary care physician (42%) or from the pharmacy (36%).

Oak Street Health has played a leading role in COVID-19 vaccination efforts at its centers and in partnership with government and community-run vaccine testing sites, administering more than 150,000 doses and counting. But while the COVID-19 vaccine remains the primary focus across the country, World Immunization Week is also a reminder that vaccines protect millions of people from a variety of diseases. In the last year, many older adults have delayed appointments with doctors and have not received vaccines for flu, shingles and pneumonia – three illnesses that have more serious consequences for those 65 and older. 

While there is an increasing feeling of optimism during the vaccine rollout, we are still in the midst of a pandemic and older adults remain cautious about what lies ahead,” said Dr. Michele Mitchell, Regional Medical Director, Oak Street Health. At the same time, it’s vital that older patients continue to communicate with their physician and take the proper steps to ensure they are not at heightened risk for other illnesses such as the flu, pneumonia and shingles. Older adults should continue to practice precautions such as wearing masks, maintaining social distance and avoiding large gatherings. They should continue to see their healthcare providers to avoid serious consequences of delaying or skipping necessary screenings and vaccinations.”

Additional key insights from the survey include:

  • The majority (81%) said they were either very satisfied with the COVID-19 vaccination rollout process (44%) or mostly satisfied with the process (37%).

  • The majority of older adults (68%) reported they are more likely to get the flu shot this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The majority of seniors (76%) said they will definitely get the booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine if it’s recommended to them.

To learn more about Oak Street Health’s value-based primary care model, click here.

About Oak Street Health

Founded in 2012, Oak Street Health is a network of value-based primary care centers for adults on Medicare. With a mission of rebuilding healthcare as it should be, the Company operates an innovative healthcare model focused on quality of care over volume of services, and assumes the full financial risk of its patients. Oak Street Health currently operates more than 80 centers across 13 states. To learn more about Oak Street Health’s proven approach to care, visit oakstreethealth.com.

Media Contact:

Erica Frank, Vice President of Public Relations
Oak Street Health
Erica.Frank@oakstreethealth.com