37% of Adults Refuse to Get a Flu Shot

December 7, 2019

As the flu season gets underway, here are the top reasons why people don’t vaccinate.

Thirty-seven percent of adults do not intend to get a flu vaccination this season, according to a new survey.

According to a new AmeriSpeak Spotlight on Health survey from NORC at the University of Chicago, as of early November, 44% of adults reported that they received a flu vaccination. Another 18% had not yet been vaccinated but intended to get a vaccination this season.

“The CDC reports this year’s flu season is off to an early start in most states and has already claimed numerous lives,” says Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at NORC at the University of Chicago. “This year’s vaccine appears well matched against the current strains, and widespread vaccination remains our best defense against this sometimes-deadly virus.”

Related: The Impact of Flu Season

People aged 60 years and older, who are at higher risk for flu-related complications, report the highest vaccination rate-65%. However, one in five people (19%) aged 60 years and older still do not plan to get vaccinated this season. Adults between the ages of 45 and 59 are the least likely to report being vaccinated, with only 34% of this group having been vaccinated as of early November. Among adults who have children under age 18 living in their home, 43% said they do not plan to vaccinate their children.  

Since 2010, the CDC and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have recommended routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons aged 6 months or older who do not have contraindications.

 

Widespread misconceptions exist regarding the safety and efficacy of flu shots. When asked why they do not intend to be vaccinated, adults were most likely to cite concerns about side effects from the vaccine (37%). Thirty-six percent do not think the vaccine works very well.