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Consumer Reports Flu Poll: Approximately Three Out of 10 Health Care Workers 'Living in a Bubble,' Not Getting Flu Vaccine
Date:10/14/2010

r flu complications described themselves as such," said Dr. Avitzur.

Only 51% of those in the "age-risk" category (i.e. those who are 65 and older) said they would definitely get the combined vaccine.  About one-third (33 percent) of those 65 and older believed they were at high risk of seasonal flu complications.

Reasons for not getting this year's vaccine lead with the belief that the swine flu epidemic was overblown last year (45 percent), followed by concerns about side effects (44 percent) and safety of the vaccine (41 percent).  Nearly one-third (28 percent) said they believed the vaccine doesn't work.

Some other poll highlights:

  • Overall, only 37 percent of those polled said they would definitely get the combined vaccine this year while 31 percent said it depends.  Thirty percent said they will definitely not get the vaccine this year.
  • Of those who did not get the seasonal flu vaccine last year, the top reason was the mistaken belief that it's best to build one's own natural immunities.   "We encourage every American to get this year's combined seasonal and 2009 H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine," said Dr. Avitzur.
  • Men were more likely than women (46 percent versus 35 percent) to cite "I do not get the flu" as a reason for not getting the flu vaccine.   Overall, 41 percent cited this excuse, a significant drop from the 54 percent who provided the same rationale in 2008, suggesting that more Americans are getting the message that they can't count on being immune to the flu.
  • When it comes to confidence in the safety of the combined vaccine, 69 percent said they were very or somewhat confident in the safety of the 2010 flu vaccine. By comparison, 62 percent were confident in the last year's H1N1 vaccine.  But overall, 25 percent were not too confident or not confident at all in the safety of the vaccine.
  • Americans who are on the fence about getting
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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