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Survey finds just 40 percent of adults 'absolutely certain' they will get H1N1 vaccine
Date:10/2/2009

as the top "major" reasons for their thinking: (1) they are concerned about getting side effects from the vaccine (30%); (2) they don't think they are at risk of getting a serious case of the illness (28%); and (3) they think they could get medication to treat H1N1 if they do get sick (26%). The top "major" reasons cited by parents who are not "absolutely sure" they will get the vaccine are that (1) they are concerned about side effects of the vaccine (38%); (2) they are concerned that their children could get other illnesses from the vaccine (33%); and (3) they do not trust public health officials to provide correct information about the safety of the vaccine (31%).

"There's still a lot of uncertainty about what people will ultimately do in terms of getting the vaccine. If public health officials want to encourage a larger number of people to get vaccinated this fall, they will need to address the public's concerns in the coming weeks," said Blendon.

Safety Concerns

At this point in time, only about a third (33%) of the public sees the H1N1 vaccine as very safe "generally for most people to take." By comparison, the figure is 57% for the seasonal flu vaccine. A smaller fraction of the public thinks the H1N1 vaccine is very safe for particular groups to take, including children ages 6 months to 2 years (18%) and pregnant women (13%). The Centers for Disease Control is encouraging these groups, among others, to get the vaccine as early as possible.

Concerns About Outbreak on the Rise

Public concern about a fall or winter outbreak of H1N1 has risen since June. Roughly three-quarters of the public (76%) believe there will be widespread cases of H1N1 this fall or winter with people getting very sick, which is an increase from June when only 59% felt the same way. More people are also now concerned that they or someone in their immediate family will get sick from H1N1 during the next 12 months (52% in later September, as
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Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-3952
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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