October 20, 2009

Swine Flu: Worth a Shot?

47%

Fewer than half of the public would get a swine flu vaccine if it were available to them.

The swine flu virus has been making headlines since April, and large majorities of Americans continue to cite it as a news story they are following closely. Yet, if given the chance, only 47% of Americans would get a swine flu vaccine, while an equal number would not. While 60% of Democrats would get a swine flu vaccine if it were available, just 41% of both Republicans and independents would get vaccinated. Republicans are also more likely than Democrats to say the media are overstating the danger involved in swine flu. The country as a whole is roughly split on whether the media are presenting the danger associated with virus appropriately. Among those who say they would not get the vaccine, the most cited reason is that the vaccine is too risky or has not been tested enough. Another quarter say they are healthy or just never get flu shots, while 16% do no believe in vaccinations. Despite any skepticism towards the media’s portrayal of swine flu or of the vaccination itself, fully 64% say they are very (17%) or somewhat (47%) confident in the government’s ability to deal with the swine flu. Read More