H1N1 vaccine skippers didn't think fu was dangerous

While the reasons varied, the overall consensus was the same – most people who did not receive the H1N1 vaccine last year did not think the flu was a serious risk according to a review that was recently published in the online version of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The review was comprised of the results from a Harvard School of Public Health analysis of 20 nationwide opinion polls taken at various times during last year’s H1N1 pandemic in the United States.

Before limited availability of the vaccine in October, around half of those surveyed said they planned to get the vaccine and between 59 to 70 percent of parents said they would get it for their kids, the report says.

Of those surveyed, 90 percent of adults said they thought the H1N1 vaccine was safe. However, only 33 percent of those said they thought the vaccine was “very safe”, according to the review.

Of the adults who said they would not or might not have their children vaccinated, 33 percent said they were concerned about exposure to other illnesses and 31 percent said they didn’t trust public health officials to give them accurate information on the vaccine.

Approximately 54 percent of pollsters said they thought federal health officials did a poor job of providing the vaccine in December when it was in short supply, according to the review.

The New England Journal of Medicine review authors concluded, “In the event of a future influenza pandemic, a substantial proportion of the public may not take a newly developed vaccine because they may believe that the illness does not pose a serious health threat, because they (especially parents) may be concerned about the safety of the available vaccine, or both.”