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Nearly half of Americans believe H1N1 outbreak is over, poll finds
Date:2/5/2010

is the eighth in a series on public views concerning the H1N1 flu outbreak undertaken by the Harvard Opinion Research Program at HSPH.

"Our results show there was broad awareness of public health messages on H1N1; approximately three-fourths of the public reported seeing ads regarding the importance of getting the H1N1 vaccine since December, but many people did not respond to the message," said Gillian K. SteelFisher, research scientist in the HSPH Department of Health Policy and Management and assistant director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program.

Almost Half of People Think the H1N1 Outbreak is Already Over

When asked if they think there are "still many cases of people getting sick from the H1N1 flu," almost half of adults (44%) said that "the outbreak is over," while 39% thought there are still many cases of people getting sick. Concern levels are correspondingly down from a peak in September when more than half of adults (52%) were concerned that they or someone in their immediate family might get sick from H1N1 during the next 12 months. The latest poll showed only 32% still concerned.

Adequacy of Vaccine Supply

After an initial period of vaccine shortage, 70% of adults said there is now enough vaccine in their community for everyone who wants it, which is significantly more than in December (48%) or November (21%). However, 12% think there is still a shortage in their community.

Only 5% of the public currently believes there is "too much" vaccine in their community, but there may ultimately be more vaccine available than will be immediately used by the public. Findings from this poll suggest that a majority of the public nonetheless believes it is more appropriate for public health officials to purchase "enough vaccine so there is no possibility of a shortage in the long run, even if this decision means that they will spend money on vaccines that are not used" rather than order a more l
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Contact: Robin Herman
rherman@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-4752
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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