Although the FDA recently approved a stronger flu vaccine that is designed specifically for at-risk groups such as the elderly, many older adults are foregoing the popular preventive procedure. SeniorJournal.com reports that the results of a recent Consumer Reports Health poll found that only 51 percent of senior citizens plan to get the flu shot this year.
The lack of interest in protection from the virus stems from the fact that many at-risk individuals do not realize that they are part of that category.
The research found that 33 percent of those over the age of 65 believe they are at a higher risk for developing complications from the seasonal flu. In addition, 45 percent of respondents felt last year's flu epidemic was overblown, and 44 percent are concerned about side effects.
"It's no secret that small children and the elderly are at high risk for complications and even death," Orly Avitzur, the medical advisor at Consumer Reports Health, told the news source.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 percent of hospitalizations and 90 percent of deaths due to the flu were people over the age of 65.