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Flu and Pneumonia Survey

Flu season is right around the corner, but less than one in seven respondents ages 50 and older report having received their flu shot this year. Not thinking they needed the shot, being concerned about possible side effects, or saying they never get the flu are the primary reasons respondents cite in this September 2007 telephone survey for not getting immunized.

Interviews were conducted among 1,220 adults ages 50 and older from September 28 to October 21, 2007, to learn more about their flu and pneumonia immunization histories and their preferred sources of information about immunizations.

Some additional highlights:

  • About half (53%) of the respondents said they have never had a pneumonia shot. Of those, about four in ten (39%) said they didn’t think they needed one, and one-fifth (21%) said they never get pneumonia.
  • When asked about the recommended age for a healthy adult to get a pneumonia shot, slightly more than one-quarter (27%) said age 65 or older, about one-fifth (19%) said between 55 and 64 years of age, and another fifth (20%) said between 45 and 54 years of age. Notably, nearly one-quarter (23%) said they did not know the recommended age for receiving a shot for pneumonia.
  • When asked about the recommended frequency for receiving a pneumonia shot, about three in ten (28%) said once a year. In contrast, about one in six (16%) correctly said once in a lifetime.
  • More than six in ten (62%) respondents who said they have ever received a flu or pneumonia shot said they got it at their doctor’s office and, when asked about their trusted sources of information, a similar figure (69%) said their family doctor is their most trusted source of information.
  • When asked their preferences for receiving information about immunizations, more than six in ten (61%) said they prefer health information from their doctor, while about one in seven (15%) said through printed materials.

This telephone survey of adults ages 50 and older was conducted for AARP by ICR of Media, PA from September 28 to October 21, 2007. For more information about this research, please contact Teresa A. Keenan, Ph.D., at 202-434-6274. (22 pages)

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