By Jaimie Dalessio
In a recent survey of 2,160 American adults, 23 percent of men said they would rather do household chores (like laundry or washing dishes) than get a flu shot.
The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for Target, also found that 13 percent of adults, men and women, would rather prepare tax returns -- or partake in an equally unpleasant activity -- than get a shot. In all, 60 percent of adults said they would skip the flu vaccine if given the choice.
Why? Nearly half of people who would skip the flu vaccine (43 percent) said they don't need it. Other reasons respondents cited in the survey included fear of vaccine-related illness (32 percent), fear of needles (23 percent), and cost (18 percent).
Despite this apparent lack of enthusiasm about influenza vaccination among consumers, getting one is actually pretty simple. There are more places to get a flu shot than ever before, says Carol J. Baker, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, a professor of pediatrics, molecular virology, and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and chair of the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition. There's the old-standby -- and Dr. Baker's recommendation for young children -- a doctor's office, but you can also get a flu shot at pharmacies and supermarkets, at work, and even at the airport.
If fear of needles keeps you skipping the influenza vaccine season after season, ouch-free flu vaccines like new "micro-needle" flu shots and nasal sprays can help protect you.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, but flu protection is especially important for people with heart disease and other chronic conditions, seniors, children, and pregnant women.
If you haven't yet been vaccinated this season, now's the time. It takes about two weeks for the influenza vaccine to fully protect your body. So roll up those sleeves and head out for a flu shot, not to the kitchen sink.
"Get the Flu Shot or Do Your Taxes: Which Would You Prefer?" originally appeared on Everyday Health.
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