Americans are not rushing out to get their flu shots this season- leading to an oversupply of 146 million doses of influenza vaccine.
Drug maker, GlaxoSmithKline helped pay for this Rand survey that finds fewer than one-third of American adults have received a flu shot this season. It was predicted up to 85 percent of Americans might be vaccinated.
The Rand Corp. survey of 4,000 adults, shows 30 percent have already been vaccinated, while 17 percent planned to get the shot before the peak of the flu season in January and February. The Rand Corp. is a nonprofit research organization.
25 percent of respondents felt they did not need one.
Of those who had not yet been vaccinated, the most prevalent reason was, “ I haven’t had the time.”
Among those who have no intention of being vaccinated, the most prevalent reason was, “Don’t believe in flu vaccines.”
One reason may be that some flu vaccines contain the mercury-based preservative, thimerosal. Check the CDC Web site to see which ones have thimerosal and which do not.
Another red flag - FluMist has the live virus, while others contain an inactivated virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 261 million Americans be vaccinated. The CDC estimates 36,000 people die from influenza related symptoms and 200,000 are hospitalized.
Last year the flu shot was not a good match for the sort of influenza that ended up circulating the globe. It’s largely a guessing game, as the CDC will tell you.
The flu is spread by water droplets that come from a cough or sneeze and a mask can filter out the large droplets.
The best bet for avoiding influenza is to wash your hands.
Avoid coming in contact with the flu by avoiding crowds because flu can spread within six feet of an infected person. One day before symptoms appear may be one of the most contagious periods.
Hand washing by young children is particularly effective.
Washing your hands and wearing a mask will reduce the spread of the virus. #