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Fewer may get flu shots this year, surveys find

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Only a year after the swine flu pandemic led Americans to line up for flu shots, many people are now spurning vaccines, two studies suggest.

Only 37% of people plan to definitely get vaccinated this year, a Consumer Reports survey shows. About 30% say they definitely won't get a shot, while 31% of respondents are undecided, the survey of 1,500 says.

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In another survey of 1,300 adults by retailer CVS, 59% of respondents say they were "likely" to get a flu shot this year.

Nearly two-thirds of CVS survey respondents knew that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends flu shots for everyone over 6 months old. But only half of those said that advice influenced their decision.

Among people who say they'll skip the flu shot this year, 44% told Consumer Reports they're concerned about side effects, 41% said they're concerned about safety and 45% said fear about last year's pandemic was overblown, the survey says.

Many doctors say they're concerned that vaccine myths are scaring people away from shots that could potentially save their lives — as well as the lives of their most vulnerable neighbors, such as people with cancer, the elderly and healthy newborns too young to be vaccinated.
 
 

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