Survey: Half of Americans planned to get flu shots this year

Only around 50 percent of Americans have received or planned on getting the flu shot this year, with the other 50 percent saying that they have not or likely will not get the vaccine, according to survey data collected by the National Opinion Research Center and analyzed by Athens-based University of Georgia researchers.

Here are five survey findings:

1. As of October 2016, less than 10 percent of 30-to 59-year-olds and only 5 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds had received a flu shot.

2. Around 13 percent of 18-to 29-year-olds; 18 percent of 30-to 44-year-olds and 30 percent of 45-to 49-year-olds said they were planning to get the vaccine.  

3. Two out of three people over the age of 60 years were planning to or already received the shot in October 2016.

4. Only around half of those surveyed indicated they trusted the flu vaccine. In comparison, around 75 percent trusted the tetanus shot to be effective and safe.

5. People who received a flu vaccination in previous years were most likely to get a flu vaccination this year.

"One of the challenges with the flu vaccine is we've sort of plateaued in terms of the number of people who get the seasonal flu vaccine," Glen Nowak, PhD, a professor in the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and director of Grady's Center for Health and Risk Communication, said in a statement. "That's unfortunate because more people can clearly benefit from getting it. It's not a perfect vaccine, but it's the best protection you can have from influenza."

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