H1N1 influenza or Swine flu vaccine is expected to hit the market in coming weeks. A poll was conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and released on October 2, 2009, which captured viewpoint of use of swine flu vaccine. Poll was designed to get a sense whether people opposed or were in favor of getting swine flu vaccine. The poll was conducted by telephone from Sept 14 to Sept 20, 2009 and it has margin of error of ± 3.5 points. You can read the official press release of the Harvard School that details out the statistics in for of tables and charts and I would like to present main excerpts from the poll:
According to the Harvard survey, 4 out of 10 (40%) adults told that they would get H1N1 flu shot. Poll also revealed adults said over half of their children (51%) will get vaccinated. Harvard poll is somewhat in agreement with the poll reported by consumer reports which revealed that 40% parents will take their children for vaccination. It was interesting to note in consumer report poll that Latinos were more inclined for vaccination as compared to white or black parents.
Rest 6 out of 10 (60%) of the population that were not sure of getting swine flu shots were of opinion that they (and children) can go for H1N1 vaccine depending upon situation in their local area. If they find sick people from swine flu or even death can trigger change in their decision of not getting swine flu shot.
What were the main reasons for avoiding swine flu shot?
The main fear parents had regarding the swine flu vaccine were fear of side effects, lack of concern about the virus and confidence in medication that could treat it. It seemed like those parents did not trust the public health officials regarding safety of vaccine.
C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, University of Michigan Health System also released results of survey poll of reaction of adults regarding swine flu vaccine, which are in agreement of the poll conducted by consumer reports and Harvard. As per the C.S. poll, about 50% of the parents who do not want to get their children vaccinated believe that their children will not get swine flu. CDC has issued guidelines regarding priority people that should get vaccinated and children are among the population that is at high risk as they come in contact with other children in schools.
There is a concern regarding availability of vaccine, when in comes to the market. Polls can indicate to a certain level, what quantities should be planned for swine flue vaccine as to avoid its shortage when it comes into market. Polls also indicate that people, who are not considering vaccine right now, can consider it. As per Robert J. Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard school of Public Health said that “These findings suggest that public health officials need to be prepared for a surge in demand for the H1N1 vaccine if the H1N1 flu becomes more severe”.
I hope that consumer confidence for swine flu vaccine goes high as it is rolled into the market. I would like to request my readers to go through the CDC guidance document and help hospitals prioritize giving vaccine to the ones, who are at higher risk.