A third of Americans surveyed in a new poll from researchers at Ohio State said they do not believe they need vaccines for the flu or COVID-19 this season because they do not consider themselves high risk for complications from the viruses.
The survey was conducted from October 20 through the 23rd of this year among a sample of 1,007 respondents. The survey was conducted via web (977) and telephone (30).
Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed said they are doing everything they can to avoid spreading respiratory illnesses to others, but the researchers say one third of those polled said their vaccine decisions do not affect others.
Flu, COVID vaccines can be given at same time
Vaccination against flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (for those over 60 or those 32 to 36 weeks pregnant from September to January) is recommended for almost all Americans by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recent studies have shown the flu and COVID-19 shots can be given at the same time with no adverse side effects.
Additionally, a pneumonia vaccination is recommended for adults age 65 or older, those age 5 to 64 who are at increased risk for pneumonia due to chronic heart or lung disease or weakened immune systems, and children younger than 5, the researchers said.
Respiratory viruses can cause really severe and life-changing disease for some people, even among the young and very healthy.
Vaccines reduce community spread of the virus and can lessen disease severity.
"Respiratory viruses can cause really severe and life-changing disease for some people, even among the young and very healthy," said Megan Conroy, MD, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, in a press release on the survey results.