Republicans Are Most Likely to Shun Vaccination

Zogby International interactive survey shows that 46 percent of adults who are considered by the Centers for Disease Control to be members of high-priority groups plan to ignore the recommendation for vaccination.

The top reasons adults have found to skip the vaccine include concern about the safety of the vaccine and a general sense that they simply do not need the vaccine. Of those surveyed, 38 percent are worried about the vaccine’s safety, and 32 percent feel they don’t need it.

Similar percentages of all adults, including those not at high-risk, fear the safety of the vaccine — 32 percent — and also feel they do not need the vaccine — 30 percent. Sixty-two percent of adults surveyed plan to skip the H1N1 vaccine.

Republicans are most likely to skip the vaccine (74 percent), as are independents (68 percent). Fewer than half of democrats (45 percent) plan to skip the vaccine, reports.

Meanwhile, Calgary Sun reports, provincial health officials expect hospitals to be stressed from an influx of H1N1 flu patients over the next few weeks, as they announced seniors and their spouses will be allowed to get the vaccine this week.

As of today, Albertans over the age of 75 and their spouses of any age will be eligible to receive the H1N1 vaccine and on Thursday, all seniors over the age of 65 and their spouses will also be able to get the shot.

Dr. Andre Corriveau, the province's chief medical officer of health, said there are other groups, including children and workers dealing with poultry and pigs, who are also considered priorities right now.

When the vaccination program will open up to the general public again will depend on the vaccine supply and the uptake of it, he said.

More than 500,000 Albertans have received the vaccine so far, but officials are warning that the pandemic is still very prevalent.

"We expect the hospitals ... to continue to be stressed over the next few weeks," said Dr. Gerry Predy, senior medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services, Calgary Sun reports.

It was also reported, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has requested school districts to participate in providing H1N1 vaccinations to Louisiana's school children. The campaign offers vaccinations to school-aged children identified as the highest risk factor for contracting the infection during this year's flu season.

The National Institutes of Health announced that the H1N1 flu vaccine will require one 15-microgram dose for children 10 to 17 years of age. However, children nine years old and younger will need two doses administered at least 28 days apart. Therefore, two additional Saturdays in January have been added to accommodate the second dosage for this age group, KATC reports.

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