Nudging The Flu Shot Essay

847 words - 4 pages

Last year, only twenty-six percent of eighteen to forty-nine year olds got the flu shot (Singh, 2014). With an average of 200,000 people hospitalized annually due to flu-related symptoms, these low vaccination rates are generating serious health risks among young adults all over the country (National Consumers League, 2013). This winter, at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., the average age of people hospitalized with influenza was 28.5 years old, and of those that ended up in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, only two of the twenty-two had received the flu vaccination (Singh, 2014). The primary reason that young adults do not get the influenza vaccination is that they ...view middle of the document...

While vaccine effectiveness can vary from year to year and among different age and risk groups, it is still beneficial to receive the influenza vaccination even if that year’s vaccine is not a great match to the current strain. The antibodies made in response to the injection of the weakened or dead flu virus can sometimes provide protection against different, but related, viruses (CDC, 2014).
In January 2014, appropriations leaders from the United States Senate and House of Representatives announced an agreement on a Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 omnibus spending bill, The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, which allocated $156.7 million for Influenza Planning and Response, about a $6.6 million increase over last year. In addition, the Office the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services was allocated $115 million for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (Trust for America’s Health, 2014). With this funding as well as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the influenza vaccination is now free to most Americans, destroying one of the major barriers to obtaining the vaccination (Trust for America’s Health, 2014). This funding made the influenza vaccination more affordable, but it did not raise the rate of young adults getting the vaccine because cost is not the main barrier preventing young adults from getting vaccinated. It increased the production of the vaccine, and it lowered the cost, but it did nothing to educate healthy young adults as to why they too should...

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