CDC: Only one-third of high priority people have received flu shot

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Only about 1 in 3 adults considered to be in the high-risk category to receive a flu shot have actually done so during this flu season. This is according to a recent Centers for Disease Control survey published in the Dec. 16 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC interviewed more than 16,700 people earlier this month and found that between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, 34.8% of adults in high-risk groups had received a flu shot.

While the report found that many in the high-priority groups have yet to be vaccinated against the flu -- fewer than last year -- it also suggests that most of the doses this season have gone to the people in this high-risk group. The results of the survey indicate, according to the CDC, that an estimated 45 million noninstitutionalized people had received flu shots as of Nov 30. Of this number, 73% were in the high-risk groups.

The survey did not address nursing home residents specifically, but the CDC said the findings suggest that enough vaccine was available to meet the needs of the 1.5 million people in nursing homes.

The survey also found that 4.4% of other adults, 51% of people age 65 and older and about 34% of healthcare workers with patient contact had been immunized against the flu. Of those adults in a high-risk group who had not gotten their shots, about 23% said they had tried unsuccessfully to get a shot. Also, about 32% of unvaccinated elderly people said they had tried and failed to get a shot.