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Flu shots not to be sneezed at
Date:10/22/2009

Two in five at-risk American adults who would benefit from vaccination against seasonal flu are missing out on the protective shots because they believe they do not need them and are not inclined to be vaccinated. And among those who say they do intend to take up the vaccine, nearly half get around to it, according to Dr. Katharine Harris from the RAND Corporation* in Arlington, USA, and her team. Their work (1) shows that asking simple questions about the intention to be protected against flu may be an effective way of identifying those patients who are likely to benefit from further information and discussion about the benefits of the vaccine, in order to increase its uptake. Their findings are published online this week in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer.

Despite strong evidence that seasonal influenza vaccines are effective and safe, uptake of the vaccine among adults in the US falls short of targets. Dr. Harris and colleagues assessed whether asking unvaccinated individuals about their intentions to be vaccinated against seasonal flu predicted actual vaccination. They also looked at concerns about, and barriers to, vaccination as well as willingness to be vaccinated based on a recommendation by a health care provider.

The researchers analyzed data from two surveys covering over 1,500 American adults to measure the uptake of the vaccine and understand intentions and motivations for being vaccinated. The individuals surveyed fell into the high risk groups specifically recommended for vaccination by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Harris and team found that by midseason, over a third of adults for whom the influenza vaccine was specifically recommended had been vaccinated, and another 17 percent said they intended to do so by the end of the season. Just over half of those who intended to be vaccinated followed through. However, nea
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Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

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