A recent survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has shed light on the concerns Americans have about contracting seasonal respiratory viruses such as the flu, COVID-19, and RSV in the upcoming months. The survey, which took place from October 5th to 12th, revealed that over a third of participants expressed worry about themselves or their family members falling ill.
When asked specifically about their worries surrounding RSV, COVID-19, and the flu in the next three months, 35 percent expressed concern about RSV and COVID-19, while 39 percent were worried about the flu to varying degrees.
However, the survey also exposed vaccine hesitancy among the participants. Only 21 percent stated that they had received the seasonal flu shot this year, marking a decrease from the previous year’s vaccination rate of 26 percent during the same period.
Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, expressed concern over the decline in flu vaccination rates, emphasizing the importance of yearly flu shots in protecting against severe infections and indicating a likelihood of accepting other CDC-recommended vaccines.
Additionally, the survey revealed mixed opinions regarding preventive medicines for COVID-19 and RSV. While 40 percent expressed a likelihood of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, nearly an equal number, 44 percent, stated that they were unlikely to receive it. Only 8 percent reported having already received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Another recent survey from KFF highlighted that half of adults do not plan to get the latest COVID-19 vaccine, with only about 20 percent having received it thus far. However, a quarter of adults expressed intentions to get immunized in the future.
Regarding an RSV vaccine for seniors, which was approved earlier this year, the majority of survey participants, 55 percent, stated that they were likely to recommend it to friends or family members over the age of 60. The same vaccine, called Abrysvo, was also approved for use in pregnant women to provide protection against RSV for their newborn infants in the first six months of life, when they are particularly vulnerable to severe infections.
When it came to recommending the vaccine to pregnant individuals, participants were divided, with 45 percent expressing reluctance and 43 percent stating it was likely they would recommend it.
The survey results underline both the concerns held by Americans regarding the upcoming flu season and the persistence of vaccine hesitancy among a significant portion of the population. As the fight against respiratory viruses continues, it remains crucial for individuals to stay informed and make informed choices about immunization.
- What were the main concerns identified in the survey?
The survey revealed that a significant number of Americans expressed worry about contracting respiratory viruses like the flu, COVID-19, and RSV in the upcoming months.
- Was vaccine hesitancy a factor among the participants?
Yes, the survey indicated that vaccine hesitancy persists, with a lower percentage of participants receiving the seasonal flu shot compared to the previous year.
- How did participants feel about preventive medicines for COVID-19 and RSV?
Opinions were divided, with a significant percentage expressing hesitation about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, while a smaller proportion had already received it.
- Will there be an RSV vaccine available for seniors?
Yes, an RSV vaccine called Abrysvo was approved earlier this year. Most participants in the survey expressed likelihood in recommending it to individuals over the age of 60.
- Can pregnant women receive the RSV vaccine?
Yes, the Abrysvo vaccine was also approved for use in pregnant women to provide protection for their newborn infants during the first six months of life.
Source: Original article published on “The Hill”. Accessible at: https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/prevention-cures/556693-most-americans-worried-about-covid-19-flu-and-rsv