Many who won't get the flu shot doubt its effectiveness

November 04, 2015, 2:43 PM GMT+0

Nearly half of Americans are not planning to get a flu shot this year; many of them doubt the effectiveness of shots

Flu season is once again upon us, but controversy over the flu shot continues to rumble on. In the most recent controversial case a 9-year-old girl was allegedly paralysed and blinded after she got a flu shot. Though it is a common affliction, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that up to 49,000 people die each year from the flu.

Research from YouGov shows that most Americans who want a flu shot have already got one (31%) while 14% have not got one yet but are intending to. Fully 45% of the country, however, are not intending to get a flu shot. People in the West (54%) and people aged 30 to 44 (51%) are the most likely to say that they will not be getting a flu shot this year.

Overall most Americans have faith that flu shots are effective. 64% of Americans say that flu shots are 'very' or 'somewhat' effective and only 25% say that they are 'not very' or 'not at all' effective. Unsurprisingly people who already have had a flu shot (89%) or who intend to (93%) say that flu shots are effective. People who do not intend to get a shot, however, tend to doubt the effectiveness of flu shots. 47% of people who are not going to get a flu shot say that they are not effective compared to 38% who say that they are effective at preventing the flu.

Even though 45% of the public have or will have a flu shot this year, 71% of Americans say that they have had a flu shot before. 28% of these people say that they have been diagnosed with the flu after having had the flu shot.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.

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