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What H1N1 swine flu? Majority of Californians intend to ignore the late vaccine: Times/USC poll

November 6, 2009 |  5:14 pm

Another satisfied Flu vaccine customer

A new poll confirms that the Obama administration and federal health officials have failed to convince Americans -- at least those in the most populous state of California -- of the seriousness of a H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

A majority of those registered voters polled by a new survey team involving The Times and the University of Southern California said they believed the new, delayed vaccine was safe.

But a majority also said they had no intention of getting it.

The findings come from a new Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts & Sciences Poll. The survey, which interviewed 1,500 registered voters from Oct. 27 through Nov. 3, was conducted for The Times and USC by two nationally prominent polling firms, the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies.

Today's results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

Only 5% of those polled said they had already been vaccinated. Of the rest, 52% said they didn't plan to get vaccinated. Of the 40% who said they wanted the vaccine, 12% said they already had attempted to find it but couldn't. 

Of those polled, 70% said they think the H1N1 vaccine is safe for most people, and only 17% said there was a strong chance the vaccine is unsafe.

Last month the Obama administration declared a national emergency over the H1N1 pandemic, as The Ticket reported here. But the government program has come under fire for long delays in deliveries of the vaccine.

Rep. Ron Paul has even called the federal program a "total failure." Obama officials, who are overseeing the vaccine distribution, have blamed the delays on manufacturers.

A previous national poll, as The Ticket reported here, found a large majority of Americans also intended to skip the recommended medical action.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Baltimore Sun (Another satisfied young vaccination customer).