A 2022 study by the US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases found that “most adults believe annual flu vaccination is the best protection against flu”. However, of the participants surveyed a number did not intend to take a flu vaccine, instead opting to mask during the season or take a chance unprotected.  

Survey results 

The survey of US adults included over 1000 responses from across the country. It found that 69% of participants believe that vaccination is the “best preventative measure”. 49% plan to take the jab when offered. This suggests that around half of the adult population will not be taking a flu vaccine this season, despite warnings that we are facing a serious wave of illness. The survey recorded a range of reasons for not wanting a vaccine. These include: 

  • 41% believe that the vaccine doesn’t work 
  • 39% are concerned about side effects 
  • 28% “never” get the flu 
  • 24% worry that the vaccine will give them the flu 
  • 20% believe that the flu is not serious 

As an alternative, some Americans will choose to mask for protection during the flu season. 58% of respondents suggested they would wear a mask at some point during the season.  

Professional encouragement 

Health experts are trying to increase the numbers of Americans taking flu jabs by insisting that they are safe and effective. Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, described vaccination as “the besty way to protect yourself and your family from the flu”. Dr William Schaffner, medical director of NFID, believes that COVID-19 led people to forget about influenza. It can still cause “bad damage” to patients. 

“The key to protection is vaccination.” 

Experts in the UK echoed this advice amid suggestions that a “twindemic” will cause suffering across the Northern Hemisphere this season.

To hear more about flu vaccination approaches at the World Vaccine Congress in Europe 2022, get your tickets here.