A recent survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania revealed that more than a third of Americans are worried about contracting a seasonal respiratory virus, such as the flu, COVID-19, or RSV, in the coming months. However, the survey also found that vaccine enthusiasm is not as high as expected.
When asked about their concern for contracting RSV, COVID-19, or the flu in the next three months, 35 percent of participants expressed worry about RSV and COVID-19, while 39 percent were worried about the flu to some degree.
Interestingly, the survey indicated that getting vaccinated against these viruses was not a top priority for the participants. Only 21 percent reported having received the seasonal flu shot so far this year, which is lower than the percentage from the same time last year (26 percent).
The decrease in flu vaccination rates is concerning, as yearly flu vaccinations not only protect against serious infections but also indicate acceptance of other vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
Regarding COVID-19 and RSV preventive measures, opinions were divided among participants. When it came to the COVID-19 vaccine, 44 percent said they were unlikely to get the shot, while 40 percent said they were likely to receive it. Additionally, only 8 percent reported having already received the COVID-19 vaccine.
A separate survey by KFF found that half of adults do not plan to get the most recent COVID-19 vaccine, with only about 2 out of 10 adults having received it so far. However, a quarter of adults expressed their intention to get immunized.
In terms of RSV, 55 percent of participants stated that they were likely to recommend the RSV vaccine for seniors to their friends or family members aged 60 and above. It is worth noting that the same RSV vaccine, Abrysvo, was also approved for pregnant women, providing protection against RSV for their newborns during the first 6 months of life.
When asked about recommending the RSV vaccine to pregnant friends or family members, opinions were divided, with 45 percent expressing hesitation and 43 percent saying they were likely to make the recommendation.
This survey sheds light on the mixed concerns and vaccine plans among Americans regarding seasonal respiratory viruses. While worry about contracting these viruses is prevalent, there seems to be some hesitancy when it comes to receiving vaccinations. It is crucial for public health authorities and healthcare providers to address and alleviate these concerns, emphasizing the importance of vaccination in preventing severe infections and protecting vulnerable populations.
1. What is RSV?
RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a common respiratory virus that can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, especially in young children and older adults.
2. Why is the drop in reported flu vaccination concerning?
Annual flu vaccinations not only help protect individuals from serious infection but also indicate their acceptance of other CDC-recommended vaccines. A decrease in flu vaccination rates may reflect a decline in overall vaccine acceptance, which could have broader implications for public health.
3. What is the COVID-19 vaccine campaign?
The COVID-19 vaccine campaign refers to the nationwide effort to vaccinate the population against the COVID-19 virus. The campaign aims to provide widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines to control the spread of the virus and mitigate the impact of the ongoing pandemic.
4. What is the Abrysvo vaccine?
Abrysvo is a vaccine approved for the prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infections in older adults and pregnant women. It provides protection against RSV, a common respiratory virus that can cause severe illness, particularly in infants and older adults.
5. Why is it important to recommend the RSV vaccine for pregnant women?
Recommendation of the RSV vaccine for pregnant women is important because it can offer protection to their newborn infants during the first 6 months of life when they are particularly vulnerable to severe RSV infection. Vaccinating pregnant women helps reduce the risk of transmission to newborns and provides added protection during this critical period.