COVID-19 has brought health into focus for many of us and LloydsPharmacy research shows 6 in 10 (61%) adults have made changes to their life to help make their health more of a priority. With this new focus on health, LloydsPharmacy is launching their first ever health index to track progress related to these positive changes people are making to their health. The Winter Health Index has been created to monitor people’s changes in attitudes and actions surrounding healthier living, preventative health measures, and a better understanding of their overall health. Research has been conducted by Empathy research on behalf of LloydsPharmacy.
The first index shows there is an increase in people planning to get the flu vaccine this year as 57% of the public plan to get the flu vaccine compared to only 46% of adults last year- an increase of 11%. With incidence of COVID-19 still high in Ireland there is a possibility of co-circulation of flu and COVID-19 this winter, therefore the flu vaccination is crucial to protect those most at risk of serious illness. 82% of those over the age of 65 are planning to get the flu vaccine and 12% of people have started taking vitamins or supplements because of the pandemic.
COVID-19 has clearly had an impact on the flu vaccine uptake, as well as an increase in those planning to get the vaccine, research shows that 4 in 10 adults (40%) claim they are more likely to get the flu vaccine this year specifically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 we at LloydsPharmacy saw a 50% increase in flu vaccine uptake and even higher numbers are expected in pharmacies around Ireland this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Flu vaccination is a crucial step in protecting not only personal health but also protecting at-risk groups including those 65 and over, people with impaired immune systems, those with a BMI over 40, pregnant women, healthcare workers, carers as well as cancer patients. High flu vaccination rates will also support the healthcare system and reduce unnecessary strain on GPs and healthcare facilities over the coming months. Nearly 40% of those with children plan to book their child in for a flu vaccination and LloydsPharmacy are offering the intranasal flu vaccine for children aged 2-17.
Two thirds of those who have prioritised their health more since COVID-19 are eating healthier, with just over half (51%) spending more time outdoors. Strong immune health is important as the winter months approach to fight off colds & flu. The research shows that two thirds of adults (66%) currently take a daily vitamin or regularly take supplements with the incidence highest in those aged 18-44. This is backed by trends in LloydsPharmacy stores which saw an increase of 20% in vitamin sales over the last year. Vitamin D is the most popular vitamin or supplement taken by respondents who take a daily vitamin followed by a multi-vitamin; this trend can be seen in LloydsPharmacy and accounts for a third of the category growth over the last year.
Along with Vitamin D, Vitamin C is also vital for protection from colds & flu and building a strong immune system. For people who don’t consume enough Vitamin C and D rich foods, taking daily vitamins will ensure they reach the recommend daily intake of each vitamin, boosting their immune system for the winter months ahead. The highly trained LloydsPharmacy team are on hand in all pharmacies to discuss customers individual needs dependent on their lifestyle and advise on what suits their needs best. A wide range of vitamins and supplements are available online and in-store with new brands and products added throughout the year to suit all budgets and lifestyles. All vitamins and supplements are currently on offer where customers can avail of the Buy One Get One Half Price offer up until the 29th September in-store and online, with orders over €40 qualifying for free delivery.
Denis O’Driscoll, LloydsPharmacy Superintendent pharmacist said “COVID-19 has really brought our individual and collective health into focus for people. Across our pharmacies we saw trends such as an increase in vitamin sales and more people booking flu vaccinations that showed that to be true. LloydsPharmacy have launched our first winter health index so we can track the behaviours and attitudes of people in Ireland to their health. As COVID-19 continues to circulate in communities around Ireland and people go back to school, college and offices it’s crucial that people make their health a priority this winter by booking a flu vaccination in their local LloydsPharmacy and discussing their vitamins and supplements needs with the team in-store. Last year’s flu vaccination uptake increase of 50% was encouraging to see and our health index indicates those numbers could be higher this year. In order for the vaccine to be as effective as possible, as many of the population as possible need to get vaccinated. LloydsPharmacy’s highly trained colleagues are always on hand to support their communities and all COVID-19 precautions are in place in our participating pharmacies nationwide making it a safe environment to get your flu vaccination.”
This year the flu vaccine will only be administered by appointment only. A short questionnaire, which is available in pharmacy or via lloydspharmacy.ie, is to be filled out in advance of appointments. This is to help minimize the time spent in the pharmacy. If you have any symptoms of COVID – 19 or the Flu on the day of your appointment, you must cancel or reschedule. To ensure the safety of our patients and colleagues a face covering must be worn at all times & people are encouraged to arrive as close to their selected time as possible.
LloydsPharmacy stores are open nationwide, visit LloydsPharmacy store locator for details on your local pharmacy location and opening hours and www.lloydspharmacy.ie to book an online doctor appointments with Lloyds Online Doctor or MyClinic.