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Consumer Reports Poll: 43% of Americans Say They're on the Fence about Swine Flu Vaccine
Date:9/30/2009

en tested enough were concerns.

Consumer Reports recommends that people in high risk groups for swine flu seriously consider vaccination when it becomes available. "This is especially true if H1N1 infections are present in your community," said Orly Avitzur, M.D., medical adviser, Consumer Reports. High risk groups that should be given the swine flu vaccine include pregnant women, children over 6 months of age and young adults, particularly those with an underlying disease, including asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and those with immune disorders.

The majority (59%) of those polled said they did not get the season flu shot last year. Their top reason was the belief that avoiding the vaccine would allow them to build their natural immunities. "There's no evidence that natural immunity is better than vaccination and it adds the inconvenience of being sick with potential complications," said Dr. Avitzur.

The Consumer Reports poll suggests that Americans appreciate the benefits of hand-washing and avoiding those with flu symptoms, though there is less acceptance of some key measures like taking advantage of the protections of certain masks when someone at home has the flu. In a related report in the November issue, Consumer Reports notes that people who are contagious or at high risk should use a "respirator" mask rated "N95," which provides a snug fit to the face and should provide more protection against breathing in tiny viral particles than looser fitting masks when used properly.

Survey Highlights:

  • Sixty-nine percent of parents who said they were undecided or would not have their children vaccinated said they wanted their children to build natural immunities. In a close second, sixty-five percent of parents said they were worried about the swine flu vaccine's newness and whether it had been tested enough.
  • When asked which measures t
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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