According to the CDC, the majority of deaths from the flu occur in people over age 65.
The CDC recommends a flu shot for most people aged 6 months or older, but a new survey finds many adults—and more than half of millennials—don’t plan to heed that advice.
An online survey by Harris Poll on behalf of CityMD, a network of urgent care physicians, found that 42% of all US adults, and 52% of those aged 18 to 34 years, do not plan to have a flu shot this season. The survey found that among the millennials, reasons cited for not planning a flu shot were:
· 49% said they don’t trust the shot to prevent them from getting the flu
· 29% said they thought it would make them sick
· 25% don’t want to spend the money
· 23% don’t think they need because they’ve never had the flu
· 4% don’t know where to get a flu shot.
While the survey found the percentage of adults who don’t plan to have a flu shot declines as Americans age, more than a third (38%) of those aged 55 to 64 years didn’t plan to have a flu shot. However, this group was twice as likely as the next youngest group (30% vs 15%) to say they didn’t plan to get the shot because they’d never had the flu.
The survey findings appear consistent with past patterns of actual flu shots. CDC data from the 2013-2014 flu season found that overall vaccination rates were around 42%, with younger adults, those ages 18-49, having a vaccination rate of 32.3%, those age 50-64 having a vaccination rate of 45.4%, and those 65 and older having a rate of 65%.
According to the CDC, those most at risk of complications from the flu are small children (aged 5 or younger) and those aged 65 or older, or those who have chronic conditions or health problems, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or a weakened immune system. A study by the CDC found that 90% of influenza deaths occur among those over age 65; between the 1976-1977 flu season and 2006-2007, the annual number of deaths ranged between 3000 and 49,000.
The only people the CDC says should not get a flu shot are those with severe allergies to flu vaccine ingredients. Those who are not feeling well should wait until an illness passes.
For the 2016-2017 season, the recommends injectable vaccines, not the nasal spray vaccine.