THURSDAY, June 16, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Grownup flu shots have slumped in states with low COVID-19 vaccination charges, suggesting that COVID-19 vaccination habits could have spilled over to flu-vaccine habits, new analysis signifies.
College of California, Los Angeles researchers level to declining belief in public well being companies attributable to controversy over COVID-19 vaccines as a potential cause for the falloff in flu vaccination.
“It’s alarming that controversy surrounding COVID-19 vaccination could also be undermining separate public well being efforts that save hundreds of lives annually,” mentioned research lead writer Dr. Richard Leuchter. He is a resident doctor at UCLA Well being and the David Geffen Faculty of Drugs.
The evaluation of U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention knowledge by January 2022 confirmed that grownup flu vaccination charges remained comparatively steady in all states through the first flu season of the pandemic (2020-2021), earlier than widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines.
However flu shot charges within the second flu season of the pandemic (2021-2022) — when COVID-19 vaccines have been extensively out there — fell from about 44% to round 39% in states with below-average charges of COVID-19 vaccination.
In distinction, flu shot charges in states with the very best charges of COVID-19 vaccination rose from 49% to almost 53%, based on the research. The findings have been revealed June 15 within the New England Journal of Drugs as a letter to the editor.
Charges of full COVID-19 vaccination various from 50% in Alabama to 81% in Rhode Island by January 2022. Flu vaccination charges by January of the 2021-2022 flu season additionally various, starting from 31% in Mississippi to 59% in Connecticut.
A state’s common COVID-19 vaccination charge might clarify 60% of the variation in its flu vaccination charge, which “is compelling proof that the vaccination behaviors for flu and COVID-19 vaccines are inextricably linked,” Leuchter mentioned in a college information launch.
The findings could point out that low uptake of COVID-19 vaccination has spilled over into flu vaccination, the researchers recommended.
“Many Individuals who by no means earlier than declined a routine, probably life-saving vaccine have began to take action. This helps what I’ve seen in my scientific follow and means that info and insurance policies particular to COVID-19 vaccines could also be eroding extra normal religion in drugs and our authorities’s function in public well being,” Leuchter mentioned.
One thing referred to as “perception generalization” could also be an element, he famous.
“A lot as somebody’s determination to put on or forgo a masks in public through the early pandemic was linked with their extra normal beliefs by the concept of ‘perception signaling,’ we suggest that ‘perception generalization’ could account for COVID-19 vaccine-specific opinions being generalized to different vaccines,” Leuchter mentioned. “Individuals who really feel compelled to oppose or help COVID-19 vaccines could really feel that they need to in flip oppose or help different vaccines.”
The findings are trigger for alarm, and warrant fast analysis into the causes, based on the research authors.
Be taught extra about flu pictures on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
SOURCE: College of California, Los Angeles, information launch, June 15, 2022