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American adults receiving flu vaccine at about the same rate as in 2008, study finds
Date:12/9/2009

of health care workers reported they had no intention of being vaccinated despite the risk of transmitting influenza to patients.

The findings are from a representative national survey conducted during the middle of November that asked more than 5,000 adults about their vaccination status and related issues. The survey is the latest in a series done by RAND and supported by GlaxoSmithKline, a manufacturer of flu vaccine.

Researchers say the study was designed to help inform public health officials and others about progress toward vaccinating adults prior to the end of the vaccination season while action can still be taken to improve uptake.

The study found that 29 percent of adults stated that they did not have the time to get vaccinated. In addition, seasonal flu vaccine availability may be a significant reason more adults have not been vaccinated. Among those intending to be vaccinated, about 38 percent said there was no vaccine available when they tried to get inoculated.

"This finding highlights one of the public health challenges that we face in a year when a pandemic flu has made an appearance," Harris said. "The early surge of uptake was attributed to additional awareness about seasonal flu vaccination in a pandemic year. It's important to keep this early interest in mind when planning for future pandemics."

Other finding from the study include:

  • There was little evidence that people were forgoing seasonal influenza vaccine in order to be vaccinated against H1N1.

  • Health care providers were widely seen as the best source of information about vaccinations. About 44 percent of vaccinated adults said their health provider was the most influential source of information; unvaccinated adults were less reliant on health care providers and more reliant on news reports than those who had received a flu vaccine.

  • White adults were more likely to be vaccinated than other racial groups.
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Contact: Warren Robak
robak@rand.org
310-451-6913
RAND Corporation
Source:Eurekalert

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