In my earlier post about flu vaccination I picked on the excuses a nurse was giving for avoiding getting her shot. It turns out there are a lot of people like her. WebMD has a story about the high percentage of people who are not planning to get vaccinated this year, like 43% of Americans overall and 51% of people over 65. The reasons given by those surveyed for not getting the shot were
- 45% cited that the swine flu epidemic was overblown last year
- 44% said they were concerned about the side effects of the flu vaccine
- 41% were concerned about its safety
- 30% felt the flu vaccine doesn’t work anyway
Reason number 1 seems really dumb. Reasons 2 and 3 are perhaps realistic, although pretty small causes for concern. Number 4 is true in about 10% to 20% of people according to published reports so that is legit, and it is hard to actually know the true effectiveness rate because some of the 80% to 90% who got the shot and didn’t get sick were never exposed and we don’t know who those people are.
The more annoying statistic is that 28% of health care workers say they won’t get the flu vaccine. Those people are the ones who have heavy exposure and can easily pass it to many other people.