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Flu Vaccines Are Most Popular in These U.S. Cities – 2024 Study


Across the largest cities in the U.S., the uptake on flu vaccinations has been split. While an average of 50.7% of people aged 65 and over were inoculated, some cities ranged much higher or lower. When a given year’s flu vaccines can be matched to the spreading virus strains, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims 40-60% efficacy at reducing flu cases.

With an eye on flu vaccine preferences, SmartAsset analyzed data from Medicare to rank 100 cities based on the percentage of seniors who received the flu shot in 2023.

Key Findings

  • These Midwestern cities top the list for the highest rates of flu vaccinations. In Madison, WI, 69% of Medicare enrollees were vaccinated for the flu season. In Lincoln and Omaha, NE, that figure was 66% and 63%, respectively. In Minnesota, Minneapolis (62%) and St. Paul (62%) also made the top ranks. 
  • Miami, FL has the lowest rate of flu shots. Only 34% of Miami seniors got the flu vaccine last year. El Paso, TX had the second-lowest rate at 36%, while 39% of seniors in Clark County, NV — including Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and Enterprise — were inoculated.
  • The cities with the most seniors are split on flu shots. Seniors make up more than 22% of the population in Scottsdale, Port St. Lucie and Honolulu, and there’s no distinct preference for or against the flu shot in these places. Respectively, 52%, 48% and 53% of seniors got the flu shot last year.

Top 10 Cities With the Highest Rates of Flu Vaccinations

  1. Madison, Wisconsin
    Madison leads the ranking with a 69% flu vaccination rate among seniors, who represent approximately 13.5% of the city's population. This adds up to 36,707 residents aged 65 and older.
  1. Lincoln, Nebraska
    In Lincoln, 66% of seniors have received a flu shot in 2023. Seniors make up 15.3% of the population, which includes 44,656 residents aged 65+.
  1. Omaha, Nebraska
    Omaha has a senior flu vaccination rate of 63%, with the 65+ demographic comprising 14.4% of its citizens. This adds up to 70,078 seniors.
  1. Durham, North Carolina
    Durham reports a 62% vaccination rate among seniors. The city's population includes 13.8% of residents aged 65 and over, which totals 40,228 seniors.
  1. St. Paul, Minnesota
    Approximately 62% of St. Paul’s senior population have been vaccinated against the flu in 2023. Seniors constitute 13.0% of the city's population, with a total of 39,448 residents aged 65+.
  1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Minneapolis also shows a 62% flu vaccination rate in seniors. This age group represents 11.13% of the city's populace with 47,298 seniors.
  1. Raleigh, North Carolina
    Raleigh has a 61% flu vaccination rate among its senior citizens. The 65+ age bracket makes up 12.3% of the population, which adds up to 58,522 seniors.
  1. St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis has a 60% flu vaccination rate for seniors, who make up 15.8% of its population. There are 45,176 residents aged 65 and older.
  1. Baltimore, Maryland
    Baltimore’s senior flu vaccination rate stands at 59%, with 89,326 seniors accounting for 15.7% of the population.
  1. Plano, Texas
    Plano has a 59% vaccination rate among its senior citizens. The 65+ age group makes up 14.30% of the city's population, with a total of 41,479 seniors.

Data and Methodology

Data is for 2023 and comes from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. The percentage of seniors with the flu shot is represented by the percentage of fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare enrollees that had an annual flu vaccination. Medicare enrollees must be at least 65 years old. Data was examined for the largest 100 cities for which data was available. Cities are mapped to county-level data.

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