A doctor injecting a senior with a vaccine booster shot

(HealthDay News) — About half of older adults (52%) have heard of the new vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to the National Poll on Healthy Aging released online on Aug. 22.

The poll, which comes from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, was administered July 17 through Aug. 7 to 1,850 people aged 60 to 80 years.

The poll showed that 21% of respondents said they were very interested, and another 43% said they were somewhat interested. However, only 41% of older adults who reported their health as fair or poor had heard of the RSV vaccine versus 53% of those who rated their health as good to excellent. Regardless of whether or not they had previously heard of the vaccine before the poll, more than 65% of those with a chronic health condition said they were very or somewhat interested in getting the vaccine.

“As we prepare for the first RSV season when a vaccine will be available for older adults, these early data suggest a need for public health officials, primary care providers, pharmacies, and others to target their outreach and awareness-building efforts,” poll senior advisor Preeti Malani, MD, from the University of Michigan, said in a statement.