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December 06, 2018

41 percent of Americans don't plan on getting their flu shots this year

A new survey says last year's record-high death toll from the virus has not persuaded many to get vaccinated

Prevention Flu Season
flu-shot-flickr Government of Prince Edward Island/Flickr

'Tis the season for flu shots!

A new survey conducted at the University of Chicago found that as of mid-November, 41 percent of adults said they had not yet been vaccinated for flu season this year and aren't planning on it, either.

The survey, which was released on Wednesday, reported that the majority of Americans have yet to get their flu shots this year, but 14 percent were planning on it. Flu season technically occurs year-round, however the Center for Disease Control said it peaks in December and usually lingers into February. 

Most of those surveyed who reported they would not get the flu shot said they were worried about contracting the flu from the shot itself or were worried about the possible side effects from vaccination. 

Flu shots do not cause flu illness, according to the CDC. Flu vaccines use an inactive, or killed, flu virus and therefore are not infectious. Here are other misconceptions about the flu vaccine.

Others said they didn't think the shot worked very well or that they were unlikely to get the flu at all this year.

The 2017-18 flu season was severe compared to years prior, producing at least 185 pediatric deaths in the United States. 

The CDC said those vaccinated in the last two months decreased their chances of getting sick by 40 percent. 

As of November, 43 percent of adults reported they had already gotten the flu shot and another 14 percent had not yet been vaccinated, but intend to do so. 

The study also found that people over the age of 60 reported the highest vaccination rate, at 62 percent. But one in four people in that age group still don't plan on getting vaccinated at all. 

Adults under the age of 45 are the least likely to be vaccinated, with nearly half reporting that they will not receive the shot, according to the survey. 


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