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Will you get a H1N1 vaccination?

September 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Public health officials have been sounding the alarm about the importance of preventing swine flu, but despite all these warnings our exclusive Survey USA news poll reveals many people are choosing to ignore the information."I'm really not all that concerned about getting sick from the swine flu to be perfectly honest with you," said Tami Donovan.

Tami is not alone. When we asked 1,200 adults whether they were concerned about getting sick from swine flu, more than two-thirds said they weren't very concerned or that they were somewhat concerned.

According to Dr. Brian Johnston, who works for White Memorial Hospital, although this winter's H1N1 strain is not as deadly as predicted, it still needs to be taken seriously.

"It has killed people amongst us particularly young people ages 14 to 44," said Dr. Johnston.

Although a whopping 83 percent of respondents said they don't know anyone who caught the swine flu, Dr. Johnston says they're probably wrong.

"We're seeing flu and 98 percent or more is H1N1," adds Dr. Johnston.

Experts say the most disturbing response is that most people aren't taking hygiene seriously. One of the questions asked was, "Have you changed any of your daily routine because of swine flu?"

Seventy-three percent of people said they did not change their routine.

"Let me take a moment to stress that the way to prevent yourself from catching the flu is to wash your hands," said Dr. Johnston. "Don't touch your nose, your eyes, your hands or mouth. And if you do those things you will prevent yourself from catching the flu."

When we asked whether people will be getting the swine flu vaccine next month? About half said they wouldn't get it or that they weren't sure.

"I just think it is unnecessary and my body has a good immune response and my body will take care of anything," said Sandy Cover.

About two-thirds said they won't get the H1N1 vaccine because of the costs, don't believe they're safe, don't believe they work, don't like needles, don't have time. The others said they have other reasons.

"I often hear people say I got a flu shot and I got sick. Well people get sick after they eat spaghetti, but you're not going to give up spaghetti," said Dr. Johnston.

Dr. Johnston says vaccines are powerful public health tool and he believes they save more lives than doctors. He says everyone should try to get both flu vaccines this winter.

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