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You can lead Americans to a flu shot, but you can't make them get it

September 11, 2009 |  6:37 pm

ShotWith federal health officials saying today that "Whew! Looks like one shot will be enough!" --  for protection against the novel H1N1 strain, that is -- some people are taking stock of the situation and saying, "Thanks, but, you know, I think I'll pass."

As Melissa Healy reports: "Physicians say they are hearing young parents -- many of whom have neither seen nor suffered any of the once-common diseases of childhood -- express doubts about inoculating their children against the novel strain of influenza."

This vaccine ambivalence didn't occur in a vacuum -- and it's not without precedent.

Healy fills us in on the background and the context. She writes in a related story: "The nation's political crosscurrents appear to have created vaccine skeptics of many stripes. In a time when Americans are engaged in fierce debate over the federal government's role in their healthcare, many citizens are less inclined than ever to accept the warnings of the Department of Health and Human Services or the recommendations of its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

And that's just for starters when it comes to explaining such skepticism.

Of course, taking a look at the proliferation of cases at colleges and Southeast schools (which started earlier than schools here), it's possible that by mid-October, when the vaccine against novel H1N1 is expected to be ready, for many people vaccination might be moot.

-- Tami Dennis

Credit: Getty Images