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Seasonal flu vaccine rate the same

Dec. 9, 2009 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Despite increased public and media attention to seasonal influenza vaccines, U.S. adults are being vaccinated at a similar rate to years past.

A Rand Corp. study found that as by the middle of November, about 32 percent of all U.S. adults and 37 percent of adults recommended to receive a flu vaccination had been inoculated against seasonal influenza.

The researchers also found 17 percent of all adults and 19 percent of those recommended for vaccination intended to receive the seasonal flu vaccine by the end of the vaccination season.

"It does not appear that the increased public discussion of the role of influenza vaccines has had a significant impact on the public's behavior," lead author Katherine Harris, a senior economist at Rand, said in a statement. "Most of the results from our latest survey look much like those from last year."

Health officials recommend the seasonal flu vaccine for about 70 percent of American adults, including people at least 50 years of age, those with high-risk medical conditions, healthcare workers and those who care for children less than 5 years of age. There are different recommendations for the H1N1 flu vaccine.

However, one difference in the seasonal flu vaccine this year was that adults began getting the seasonal flu vaccine earlier.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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