- Los Angeles Times -
Germ-spreading schoolchildren are expected to be the focus of a massive U.S. vaccination campaign against the novel H1N1 flu.
But if their parents are hearing the rallying cry to have their kids vaccinated, they're not buying it, says a new national survey.
In a poll of 1,678 U.S. parents conducted by the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, 40% said they would get their children immunized against the H1N1 virus -- even as 54% indicated they would get their kids vaccinated against regular seasonal flu.
Among those who said they do not intend to have their kids vaccinated against H1N1, almost half -- 46% -- indicated they're not worried about their children becoming ill with the pandemic virus. Twenty percent said they do not believe the H1N1 flu is a serious disease.
There were differences along racial and ethnic lines in parents' responses, which were collected Aug. 13 to Aug. 31. More than half of Latino parents said they would bring their kids to get vaccinated against H1N1. Among white parents, 38% said they would do so. African American parents were the least inclined to vaccinate: 30% said they planned to do so.
About half of the parents who said they'd pass on the H1N1 flu shot for their kids expressed concern about possible side effects of the vaccine.
The chatter about seasonal flu and novel H1N1 flu, and the differences in their relative virulence, has certainly confused parents, the survey suggests. Half of respondents said they believe that, for children, seasonal and H1N1 flu pose roughly equivalent risks.
Yeah, okay, I can see how parents are confused here. There is not a roughly equvalent risk. The swine flu has only killed a few thousand people worldwide, as opposed to the roughly half a million people seasonal flu kills annually.