Subjects: Public health
Although Americans are increasingly worried about the H1N1 (swine) flu, they remain wary about getting the vaccine designed to protect them against it, according to a poll completed last week by Washington Post-ABC News.
A majority of survey responders, 52%, claim to be worried “a great deal” or “somewhat” that they or another household member will come down with the infectious disease. That number was 39% in August.
Adults between the ages of 18 and 29, who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, exhibited markedly increased concern about the pandemic over the last 2 months. Forty-seven percent of the respondents in this group expressed concern about contracting the infection, up from 26% in August.
Yet despite this growing concern, only a shade over 60% of survey respondents indicate they intend to get vaccinated, and a measly 52% of parents plan to have their children get the jab.
This illustrates the twin challenges faced by the Feds in their effort to control the impact of the world’s first flu pandemic since man landed on the moon.
The CDC has allocated $2 billion to vaccinate more than half the US population and has made a commitment to immunize everyone that wants a shot.
Unfortunately, vaccine production has been slow out of the gate which has forced public health officials into triage mode, allocating limited supplies to those at greatest risk for fuliminant complications.
That said, the Feds have been largely ineffective in their efforts to convince people the vaccine is both safe and necessary.
For example, although 67% of survey respondents believe the spike is safe, only 22% claim to be “very” confident that it is. And among the one-third or so respondents who are not confident in its safety, only 6% plan to get the shot.