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AAAAI: Doctor’s Advice Impacts Flu Vaccination Rates

Recommendation, and patient race, play part in decision to get flu vaccine

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A doctor’s recommendation and a patient’s race may play a big role in whether or not people get an annual flu vaccine, according to new research scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Feb. 20 to 24 in Houston.

Researchers from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit surveyed 472 patients treated at one of six Henry Ford clinics between April and August 2013. The volunteers were also asked if they had received a flu vaccination the previous year and how they felt about flu vaccination.

The researchers found that 90 percent of the patients followed through on a doctor’s advice to receive the flu vaccine. But just 58 percent of those whose doctor didn’t recommend vaccination got a flu vaccine. The researchers also found that 93 percent of white people and 84 percent of Asians got vaccinated, compared to 62 percent of black people. They suggested lower vaccination rates among black people could reflect less trust in the benefits of the flu vaccine.

“What our findings show is that we need to improve our communications between physicians and patients about the benefits of the flu vaccination,” study author Melissa Skupin, M.D., a fellow at Henry Ford Hospital, said in a hospital news release. “Our study showed the benefit of physicians who take a proactive approach in recommending vaccination to their patients. At the same time, we need to re-think our strategy for addressing the perceptions and myths associated with vaccination.”

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