Study: Only half of Americans plan to get a flu vaccination this year


(AP Photo/David Goldman)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) – A national study shows only half of Americans plan to get vaccinated this flu season despite the majority believing flu shots are the best protection against the virus.

About five out of every eight Americans think flu vaccines are the best way to avoid the illness, but many say they won’t get one this year, according to a study conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Disease. More than 1,000 people were surveyed for the study.

The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed the flu virus is already being diagnosed in some communities, which is earlier in the year than normal. Cesar Hurtado is a family medicine doctor in Springdale, and he said science backs vaccines.

“For all my patients, from six months until they’re elderly, I recommend the flu shot for everybody,” Hurtado said. “If someone really is against getting the flu shot, I would suggest [to] try to see what’s the reason of why they do not want to get a flu shot.”

Top reasons for not getting a vaccine include not thinking they work, concern over side effects and worry about contracting the flu itself. The study found a need to educate people with chronic health conditions about the true value of flu vaccines.

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