Saturday, February 6, 2010

Swine Flu Over? Hardly

Most Americans have no plans to get the swine flu shot and think the problem was overblown and magically gone away, according to a New York Times article based on a Harvard study.

Concern about the swine flu has dropped from 46 percent of Americans to 32 percent, according to the Havard poll.  In kinda good news from a PR standpoint, three-quarters of those polled said they had seen "public health advertising – including posters, billboards, web-based ads, television, or newspaper ads – that provides information about the importance of getting the H1N1 flu vaccine."  So the message got out, even if it didn't necessarily work.  Television was the dominant medium where people saw ads, web sites the lowest (though to be fair, the margin of error kicks in and makes it more or less a tie for the lowest spot).

Is the swine flu over?

Experts weren't surprised by the results, according to the NYT story.

“But that could all change overnight if we get a third wave in late February — and we still could,” said Michael T. Osterholm, director of a Minnesota research center.  “That would make this half-time data, not end-of-the-game data.”

In other words, people are fickle and if the flu kicks up again, a bunch of folks will bitch because they really did intend on getting the shot and it's not really their fault and somehow, somewhere, Obama (or the media) is to blame.

And yeah, I got both my flu shots ages ago, further feeding my sense of immortality. So there.

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