Navigation Links
Mid-Season Flu Immunization Rates are Too Low
Date:12/10/2008

First of its kind survey cites misperceptions regarding need for vaccination and a lack of time as main reasons adults avoid getting immunized against influenza

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new survey of approximately 4,000 American adults reveals that fewer than one-third (29.6 percent) have been vaccinated against the flu this season. The survey is the first of its kind to measure self-reported influenza vaccination rates during a current flu season.

"This information is extremely relevant and timely considering influenza activity usually peaks in February and the complications can be devastating and even fatal," said William Schaffner, MD, President-Elect, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and Chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Professor of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University. "This current rate of influenza vaccination is sadly too low, but there is still time to do better this season. It's a matter of both personal protection and public health."

The release of these survey results coincides with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 8 - 14, 2008 (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/nivw/index.htm). The event is designed to highlight the importance of influenza vaccination and encourage greater use of influenza vaccines through December and the start of the new calendar year.

In past years, the flu and its complications have caused an average of approximately 36,000 deaths per year (during 1990-1999) and more than 200,000 hospitalizations per year (during 1979-2001). Most of these deaths occurred in people 65 years of age and older. The CDC has stated that influenza vaccination is the most effective method for preventing flu and its complications, which have the potential to be severe.

Dr. Schaffner continued, "Manufacturers are providing more influenza vaccine doses than ever before, however myths about influenza vaccination continue to be a main barrier to immunization."

Key Survey Findings

By mid-season, fewer than one-third of adults polled had been vaccinated (29.6 percent), and more than half (54 percent) report having no intention of being vaccinated this season. Several common misperceptions about influenza are cited as the reasons for not being vaccinated, including: the sentiment that influenza immunization is unnecessary, lack of belief in influenza vaccines in general and concerns that vaccination will cause sickness or adverse events. Of the fraction of adults who still intend to be vaccinated this season (16.6 percent), the majority (41.1 percent) cited lack of time as the reason for the delay. From a geographical perspective, vaccination rates were comparable across all regions of the U.S. Approximately one-third of white adults (32.3 percent) and one quarter of black and Hispanic adults (24.9 and 22.7 percent, respectively) have been vaccinated.

According to the survey, more than fifty percent of all adults who are living with chronic diseases have not received an influenza vaccination. Interestingly, only one-third of adults with asthma (32.8 percent) had been vaccinated, while approximately one-half of adults with diabetes (52.3 percent) and heart disease (52.3 percent), and nearly two-thirds of adults with chronic lung disease (62.9 percent) have already been vaccinated against the flu. While approximately one-third (29.5 percent) of healthcare workers or caregivers polled had been vaccinated, only 12.7 percent indicated that they plan to be.

About Influenza

Influenza, commonly known as "the flu," is a contagious and potentially deadly infection that affects on average, five percent to 20 percent of the total U.S. population each flu season. Influenza is passed from one person to another through the air by droplets released when an infected individual coughs or sneezes, but may also be spread by direct contact with influenza virus-contaminated surfaces.

The beginning, severity and length of the flu season can vary widely from year to year. Vaccination should be given as soon as the influenza vaccine becomes available, however, getting a vaccination in December or later can still be beneficial since the majority of influenza activity occurs in January and beyond in most years.

Influenza Vaccination Recommendations

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual influenza vaccination for any adult who wants to reduce the risk for becoming ill with influenza or of transmitting it to others. Vaccination also is recommended for all adults in the following groups, because these persons are either at high risk for influenza complications, or are close contacts of persons at higher risk:

  • persons aged >50 years;
  • women who will be pregnant during the influenza season;
  • persons who have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, hematological or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);
  • persons who have immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus);
  • persons who have any condition (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders) that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions or that can increase the risk for aspiration;
  • residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities;
  • health-care personnel;
  • household contacts and caregivers of children aged <5 years and adults aged greater than or equal to 50 years, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children aged <6 months;
  • household contacts and caregivers of persons with medical conditions that put them at high risk for severe complications from influenza.

About the Survey

This survey was administered by health care researchers at the RAND Corporation, a non-profit, research organization. The survey was conducted online within the United States on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline between November 7, 2008 and November 19, 2008 among 3,969 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. The survey was designed and analyzed by the RAND Corporation, fielded by Knowledge Networks and supported by GlaxoSmithKline. Complete survey results are available by visiting: http://www.rand.org/health/projects/flu_survey/.

About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1973 and dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. For more information, please visit www.nfid.org.

Note to Editors

Today a panel of infectious disease experts will convene to review the survey's findings and discuss the implications for the remainder of the flu season. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases will host the discussion with Dr. Schaffner and colleagues Litjen (L.J.) Tan, MS, PhD, Co-Chair, National Influenza Vaccination Summit and Director of Medicine and Public Health at the American Medical Association, Claire Hannan, MPH, Executive Director, Association of Immunization Managers and Katherine Harris, PhD, Economist, RAND Corporation. If you are interested in attending this panel discussion, please contact Elsie Nwankwo at Cohn & Wolfe (212-537-8214).

Today's media briefing, hosted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, is supported by GlaxoSmithKline.


'/>"/>
SOURCE The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Immunizations Part of Back to School Preparations
2. Longs Drugs Announces Immunization Program for the 2007/2008 Flu Season
3. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Partnership Plan Wins Nevada Immunization Award
4. Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition Issues New Report to Help Improve Low Childhood Influenza Immunization Rates
5. Health Groups Release 2008 Immunization Schedules
6. State Leaders Recognize Oklahomas Improvement in Immunization Rankings
7. Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition Responds to Recent Influenza Outbreaks
8. Families Rejoice in CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Vote for Universal Childhood Influenza Vaccination
9. Families Fighting Flu Board Member Speaks at 42nd Annual National Immunization Conference
10. FDA APPROVES ROTARIX(R) [Rotavirus Vaccine, live, oral], THE FIRST VACCINE LICENSED TO COMPLETE THE ROTAVIRUS IMMUNIZATION SERIES BY FOUR MONTHS OF AGE
11. National Vaccine Advisory Committee recommends increased adolescent immunization
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Center for Autism and Related ... autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, Medicaid is covering autism treatment ... is key to providing effective treatment for individuals with ASD. Now, over 1,800 ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Cirracore Enterprise Cloud, ... move workloads to the cloud. Cirracore provides a secure VMware® vCloud Air ... the Internet. Transformation Solutions (TSL Partners) provides a full range of services ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... ... Journal of Pain Research has published the commentary “ Terminology of chronic ... John F. Peppin says “Terminology matters, yet little attention has been paid to the ... pain’ and ‘chronic non-cancer pain’ are replete in the literature; however, the distinction here ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... therapy products, announced today the introduction of the newly designed, innovative shoulder wrap. ... and better cold therapy coverage for the injured arm and shoulder to promote ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Shark Finds and Kevin Harrington, and the Product Managers of AsSeenOnTV.pro ... is a newly patented product that has solved some of the basic problems golfers have ... morning dew or right after a rain shower, might understand the struggle of placing the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... -- Hearing protection devices refer to the barriers that ... inner ear. Hearing protection devices include earplugs, uniform attenuation ... for users exposed to noise levels of over 80 ... are inserted in the ear canal to protect the ... natural sound perception with the help of acoustic filters. ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 9, 2016  Increasingly, health ... monitoring their vital signs with wireless technology. With the ... can automate patient oversight and remotely detect problems before ... vital signs across in-hospital environments. the ... the United States . --> ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... new report "Global Anti-Bacterial Drugs Market Assessment & Forecast: 2015 - ... the North America continued to lead global ... translated into revenues worth US$ 16,907.3 million. ... Asia-Pacific , Latin America , ... anti-bacterial market is inclined towards North America ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: