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Community Health Data Base
An Information Service of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation

Why Older Adults in the Region Pass Up Flu Shot
Thursday. October 30, 2003

PHILADELPHIA, PA, October 2003 — Recently, nearly three out of ten older adults did not receive a flu shot according to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey. The most frequently cited reasons given for not receiving the flu shot included: not thinking the shot was needed (36.1%), allergic to it (15.7%), don’t believe in it (11.5%), and a fear of the shot (8.2%).

Influenza, more commonly know as the flu, is more than just a bad cold. It is a serious illness with a fever, cough, sore throat and body aches. Nationally, the flu causes about 20,000 deaths each year with elderly and chronically ill people at the greatest risk. Locally, 29.8% of adults 60 and older neglected to receive a flu shot according to the most recent Household Health Survey conducted by the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC), a local nonprofit agency. More than 3,000 older adults participated in the telephone survey in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.

October is flu and pneumonia awareness month.  PHMC is a nonprofit, public health organization committed to improving the health of the community through outreach, education, research, planning, technical assistance, and direct services. PHMC is a United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania member agency. Additional Household Health Survey findings are located on PHMC’s Community Health Data Base webpage at