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Consumers don't feel need to get flu shot, poll finds
February 1st, 2013
WASHINGTON – Despite the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many Americans aren't convinced that a flu shot is the best way to avoid getting influenza, according to an Ipsos survey.
The market research firm said Friday that just 56% of 1,096 U.S. adults polled online last month think that getting a flu vaccination is an effective way for preventing flu, compared with 84% for washing hands, 68% for using hand sanitizer, 60% for eating healthy, 59% for avoiding crowds and 57% for being fit.
Other flu prevention measures cited by respondents as being effective were taking vitamins or supplements (53%), dressing warmly (49%), and eating certain foods or beverages (37%).
Overall, 40% of those polled said they got a flu shot this flu season, and another 5% said they will probably get a flu immunization, according to the Ipsos research.
Meanwhile, 28% of respondents indicated they are certain they won't get a flu vaccine this season, and 17% stated that they will probably not get a flu shot.
By age, those most likely to get a flu shot were Americans age 18 to 24 (45.8%) and those over age 55 (50.1%). The rate of flu vaccination was lowest among 25- to 34-year-olds (24.1%).
Of those that got a flu shot, 41.9% did so at their doctor's office, 19.8% at a retail pharmacy, 12.6% at a walk-in clinic and 18.5% at their workplace, according to the survey. Seventy-six percent of respondents said flu vaccines are available in convenient locations.
Ipsos' research also shed light on consumer attitudes about flu vaccinations. Of the people polled, 16% think flu vaccines aren't safe, 35% believe you can get influenza from a flu shot, and 20% said flu vaccinations are expensive. Thirty-two percent of respondents agreed that over-the-counter medicines provide sufficient relief of flu symptoms to enable them to go to work or school.
Overall, 41% of those surveyed think it's unlikely they will get flu this season, and only 35% said they're concerned about getting flu.
"Many Americans believe that it is unlikely that they will get flu, and only about a third are concerned about catching it," Ipsos stated in a report on the survey findings. "Despite the emerging epidemic, flu may not be a relevant issue for most Americans."