Colds and Flu
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
When a Cold or Flu Strikes a Family MemberCould Swine Flu Be Linked to Type 1 Diabetes?Traditional Flu Tests Not as Accurate as Newer TestsPut Flu Shot on the Back-to-School ChecklistChild Flu Vaccination Down When Nasal Spray UnavailableNasal Flu Vaccine's Demise May Mean Fewer Immunized KidsHealth Tip: Flu Season is Around the CornerLive Attenuated Flu Vaccine Not Effective for Children in 2015-16Recent Flu Shot Shouldn't Prevent Vaccination During PregnancyHigh-Dose Flu Vaccine Cuts Admissions From Nursing HomesHigh-Dose Flu Shot May Help Nursing Home Residents Avoid HospitalHigh-Dose Vitamin D May Not Curb Kids' ColdsDissolvable Microneedle Patch for Flu Vaccine Found Safe, EffectiveBye-Bye Flu Shot, Hello Patch?Flu Shot Falls Short More Often for Obese People: StudyHealth Tip: Get More Sleep if You Have a ColdIs Your Child's Day Care Center Ready for Pandemic Flu?Health Tip: Stave Off Cold Symptoms for Better SleepSlimy Frog Might Be a Flu FighterFlu Season All But Over in U.S.Variation in Occupational Influenza Vaccination CoverageMost U.S. Kids Who Die From Flu Are UnvaccinatedA Lonely Heart Could Worsen a ColdCommon Cold Can Be Dangerous After Bone Marrow TransplantBlack Americans More Likely to Skip Flu ShotAntiviral Flu Drugs Safe in Mid-to-Late Pregnancy: StudyHealth Tip: Identifying Signs of the Common ColdFlu Vaccine a Pretty Good Match for Viruses This Year: CDCEczema May Leave Some Flu Shots Less Effective, Study FindsFlu Cases Spiking Across the United States: CDCFlu Shot May Curb Respiratory Infections in People With Heart FailureFlu Hospitalizations, Deaths Increasing: CDCBest Ways to Steer Clear of the FluFlu Cases Starting to Spread: CDCWhy Winter Weather Brings More FluPace of Influenza Activity Picking Up Across the United StatesFlu Tightens Its Hold on the NationFlu Season Starting to PeakIs It a Cold or the Flu? Here's How to TellOptimal Timing ID'd for Flu Shot During Three-Week Chemo CycleFlu Shots Are Worth ItHealth Tip: When a Child Is SickBird Flu Strain May Have Jumped From Cat to HumanThere's Still Time for Your Flu ShotFlu Season's Starting to Rear Its HeadHealth Tip: Who Needs a Flu Shot?CDC: U.S. Flu Vaccination Rates Low So Far This SeasonJust 40 Percent of Americans Vaccinated for Flu This SeasonMore Pregnant Women Getting Flu Shot, But Improvement NeededNo Link for Maternal Flu Infection, Increased ASD Risk
Links
Related Topics

Black Americans More Likely to Skip Flu Shot

HealthDay News
by -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Updated: Mar 15th 2017

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of American adults don't get an annual flu shot, and black Americans are even less likely to do so because of concerns about side effects, researchers report.

Campaigns advocating annual free flu shots should not only focus on the dangers of the seasonal flu but also address fears about the vaccine by explaining how it works, the study authors advised.

"Most people have very limited understanding of the way vaccine recommendations are determined and how vaccines are made and distributed," explained study author Vicki Freimuth, a professor of health and risk communication at the University of Georgia.

"Perhaps increasing knowledge about the process and its many contributing organizations may decrease perception of risk from the vaccine," Freimuth added in a news release from the Society for Risk Analysis.

Only 41 percent of black adults in the United States get the seasonal flu shot, compared to 47 percent of white adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers explored differences in flu vaccination rates among American adults, analyzing survey responses from 800 white people and an equal number of black people. The surveys were completed after flu season had peaked.

Those who chose not to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu believed the side effects associated with the shot were worse than the virus itself, the study revealed.

Some white people opted against a flu shot because they didn't think the flu was a "big deal." On the other hand, many black people were concerned about the vaccine's safety, the researchers found.

Despite differences, there were some similarities among people in certain demographics. White and black women and older people, for instance, were more likely to believe getting the flu virus was more risky than getting a flu shot. More education was also associated with fewer fears about the vaccine regardless of race, the study showed.

The findings were published recently in the journal Risk Analysis.

"One implication for flu vaccine campaigns is very clear. Messages must address both kinds of risk, disease and vaccine," said Freimuth. "Since flu vaccination is routine and may not stimulate the kind of emotional reactions that an emergency does, the public may be more concerned about vaccine risk than disease risk."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on the seasonal flu vaccine.