HEALTH

National Consumers League survey finds 1-in-5 adults never received a flu shot

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — A survey released by the National Consumers League found that more than 1-in-5 (22%) U.S. parents surveyed admitted they’ve never received a flu shot, and only half (53%) of parents with children ages 17 years and younger have received a flu vaccination within the last year. 

“According to our survey, only 44% of these parents said their child has received the vaccine,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director. “And 20% of Americans who do not get the vaccine say they avoid it because they mistakenly fear the vaccine increases one’s chance of contracting the virus. Consumers are clearly confused about the value of the flu shot for both individuals and for their community, and they need better education." 

The most common reason for not receiving the flu vaccine among adults who reported they have never received a flu shot was their good health (45%), side effects (29%) and perceived ineffectiveness of the vaccine (24%). 

Additionally, 1-in-5e (21%) said the reason they have not received the flu vaccine is because they do not believe the flu is a serious illness. One-in-5 (20%) also said the fear of contracting the flu from the vaccination is a reason they have not received the flu vaccine.

NCL’s survey also polled adult Americans about their perspectives on vaccines in general. The most common reasons adults cite for not vaccinating include side effects (41%) and ineffectiveness of the vaccines (27%).  

The majority of adults (87%) support mandatory vaccinations for school-aged children, however. 

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive among 1,756 U.S. adult Americans, of whom 993 are parents of children under age 18 years, from August through September 2013. The survey was commissioned by NCL with an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer.

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CHPA responds to Food and Drug Administration’s APAP recommendation

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Thursday responded to the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation to discontinue prescribing and dispensing prescription combination medicines that contain more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit, suggesting it would not impact use of over-the-counter formulations containing acetaminophen.

“By limiting prescription products to no more than 325 mg acetaminophen, the FDA is addressing the biggest cause of unintentional acetaminophen overdose," the association stated. "More than half (63%) of reported overdose cases involve the use of prescription opioid-acetaminophen combination medicines, such as Vicodin and Percocet. Lowering the amount in prescription products will help reduce the risk of consumers accidentally exceeding the maximum daily dose of 4,000 mg."

The industry has taken several proactive steps to educate consumers about acetaminophen safe-use and increase the visibility of acetaminophen on OTC product labels to help consumers better understand how to avoid accidental overdose. This has included enhanced labeling on both the front package panel and the Drug Facts label to call out the word “acetaminophen” on all OTC medicines that contain the ingredient. It is now prominently listed on the principal display panel (front of package) and bolded or highlighted in the ingredients section of the Drug Facts label. 

These initiatives are in tandem with FDA’s and others’ efforts on the prescription side to drive and improve acetaminophen safe use. 

In addition, the CHPA Educational Foundation co-founded and actively participates on the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition and its Know Your Dose campaign, which educates consumers to read and follow the medicine label, know if acetaminophen is an ingredient in your medicines, and never take two medicines with acetaminophen at the same time. Advisors to those initiatives include the FDA’s Safe Use Initiative and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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CRN study defines dietary supplement users

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Thursday created an infographic that depicts the dietary supplement consumer based on the association’s annual survey.

CRN’s mission behind this infographic was to provide an easily accessible – and easy to understand – resource with key data from the 2013 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, CRN stated.

Infographic from Council for Responsible Nutrition.
See www.crnusa.org/consumersurvey for more.

The Dietary Supplement Consumer: The 5 W’s answered about the more than two-thirds of U.S. adults taking dietary supplements, according to the most recent annual survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

 

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