Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Font Size

Many Health Care Workers Won’t Get Flu Shots

Poll Shows 28% of Health Care Workers Aren’t Planning to Get Vaccinated This Year
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Oct. 14, 2010 -- Many people who are at high risk for the flu -- including health care workers -- say they won't be getting a flu shot this year, a Consumer Reports survey shows.

This year's vaccine protects against the seasonal and H1N1 swine flu. The CDC now recommends flu vaccines for everyone older than 6 months. But the survey of 1,500 adults aged 18 or older shows that many don't plan on heeding this advice.

The findings echo those of a series of surveys by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, which showed that 43% of Americans won't get the flu shot this year, and that one-third of moms won’t vaccinate their kids.

In the new poll, 28% of health care workers said they didn't plan on getting the flu vaccine this year. Just 45% of people who were considered at risk for the flu said they would get vaccinated this year, meaning a majority of people with diseases that place them at high risk for the flu and flu-related complications won't get a flu shot.

People aged 65 and older are considered at high risk for flu based on their age, but just 51% said they plan on getting the flu vaccine this year.

Why Some People Aren’t Getting Flu Shots

When asked why they were skipping the flu vaccine, 45% of people polled cited that the swine flu epidemic was overblown last year, 44% said they were concerned about the side effects of the flu vaccine, 41% were concerned about its safety, and close to 30% felt the flu vaccine doesn't work anyway.

"I thought that a considerably higher number of people would want to get the flu vaccine," says Marvin Lipman, MD, chief medical adviser for Consumer Reports. "There are varied excuses and a lot has to do with the confusion and publicity that had everyone running to get swine flu vaccines last year," he says. "A lot of people felt that last year's publicity about the swine flu was overblown and therefore are not going to get the flu shot this year," he tells WebMD.

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
cold weather
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Boy holding ear
woman receiving vaccine shot
woman with fever
Waking up from sleep
woman with sore throat