News about the swine flu and the H1N1 vaccine permeates airwaves and news headlines all over the world, but Americans aren’t so sure about whether they’ll get the vaccine when it becomes available this fall. According to a new poll conducted by the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, the majority of U.S. adults say they are either reluctant or unsure about whether they or their children will get vaccinated for the swine flu.
Just 34 percent of Americans said they definitely planned to get the swine flu vaccine, while 21 percent said they would not. Forty-three percent said their decision would depend on how things go. And though children are among the groups given priority for swine flu immunization, many parents said they were unsure about what they would do when the vaccine becomes available.
And all the uncertainty about whether or not to get the swine flu vaccine appears to be linked to the confusion over risk. Of the adults we polled, more than half of the people at high risk for flu complications don't realize they are. Among people who classified themselves as high risk for swine flu complications, 60 percent in our survey said they would definitely get vaccinated, and 29 percent said it would depend on circumstances. But more than half (55 percent) of those who reported that they had medical problems such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease didn't realize that their medical conditions put them at higher risk. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention specifically recommends it for about 160 million Americans, including health-care and emergency workers, pregnant women, people who live with or care for children under 6 months of age, young people from 6 months through 24 years old, and adults ages 25 to 65 who have an underlying health condition or compromised immune system.
Take a look at the results of our swine flu poll, and tell us if you’ll be getting the swine flu shot when it becomes available this fall. Why or why not?