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Up to four times more Americans are planning to dodge the updated Covid booster vaccine this fall compared to last year despite guidance from the White House that every one receive the new vaccine. 

Researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation in California, found a majority of adults — 52 percent — said they ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ would not get the new shot.

For comparison, at the same time last year just 12 percent of respondents surveyed said they ‘definitely’ would not get that year’s booster. Another 18 percent said they would ‘wait and see’.

Among parents, 66 percent said they would not have their kids get the shot this winter — compared to 50 percent who said they would avoid the bivalent shot last year.

The updated Covid shots have been recommended again for everyone over the age of six months despite scant evidence they will benefit younger adults and children. 

Figures from last year suggest as many as 115million bivalent Covid booster vaccines went to waste, costing the federal Government billions. Although this year, the cost is being shouldered by health insurance companies.

A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, based in California, revealed a majority of Americans are not planning to get the updated Covid booster vaccine this year. The red dotted line above shows the 50 percent margin

Results showed those who were over 65 years old and voting Democrat were most likely to get the vaccine. For comparison, younger adults — who were at much lower risk of severe disease — were less likely to get vaccinated

Most parents say they will not get the updated Covid booster vaccine for their children

Last year, only 12 percent of American adults said they were not planning to get the updated Covid booster vaccine and 50 percent of parents said they would not ask their children to get the shot

The KFF poll was carried out late last month and involved a nationally-representative sample of 1,300 adults. It was done in both English and Spanish.

Overall, 33 percent of adults said they ‘definitely’ would not get the updated vaccine — while 19 percent said they ‘probably’ would not get the shot.

Less than a quarter, or 23 percent, said they ‘probably’ will get the shot and another 23 percent said they ‘definitely’ will sign up for it.

Those who were over 65 years old and voted Democrat were most likely to get the vaccine, results showed.

But adults in younger age groups — who are at lower risk of severe Covid — and who voted Republican were less likely to say they would get the vaccine. By age, those least likely to get the vaccine were between 18 and 29 years old.

For those who had previously been vaccinated, almost four in 10 said they were not planning to get the shot this year.

The survey also looked at the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and flu vaccines and found many more adults were planning to get both shots compared to those reporting they would get the Covid vaccine.

Of the respondents, 58 percent said they had already gotten or were planning to get the flu shot.

And for shots against RSV, 60 percent of adults aged 60 and over said they would get the new vaccine.

This year is the first ever that a vaccine for RSV — a respiratory disease — has been made available for adults over 60 years old after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the shot Arexvy for use. 

RSV kills 10,000 adults every year, estimates suggest, mostly older adults. For comparison, the flu kills 52,000 individuals.

This year’s updated Covid boosters, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna, use mRNA to spark protection against variants that were circulating over the summer.

New variants EG.5 and BA.2.86 sparked alarm in recent months over evidence they were the most infectious yet, with EG.5 currently being dominant in the US.

The updated vaccines are targeted at variants XBB.1.5 — which are now only behind a small proportion of cases — but tests show they should still provide protection against the currently circulating strains.

The CDC has recommended the shot for everyone aged six months and over, although a top FDA adviser said it was only necessary for those aged 75 and over.

Dr Paul Offit, a pediatrician, has previously told DailyMail.com younger adults did not need the vaccine because they were already at low risk for severe disease.

And almost all Americans now have some level of immunity against Covid from either vaccination or previous infection.

The Covid wave from last month — which sparked alarm — also already appears to be receding after previously sparking alarm. 

The survey also looked at the rollout for flu and RSV shots this winter. It revealed most adults were planning to get the flu shot

They also found that the majority of adults were planning to get the RSV vaccine this year

Official data showed there were 19,079 Covid hospital admissions nationwide over the week ending September 23, down three percent from the previous week.

The number was also well-below this year’s peak of 44,400 admissions recorded in January.

The positivity rate — proportion of Covid tests that detect the virus — is also down one percent in a week, dropping to 11.6 percent positivity in the week ending September 23.

Fatalities were down to 607 during the same week from 1,005 the week prior.

Unlike last year, the federal Government is not covering these new Covid boosters, instead it is passing the costs to health insurance companies.

Last year’s updated booster drive cost the Biden administration $4.5billion, estimates suggest, with 171million doses purchased.

But CDC data shows  out of these, only 56million were ever administered — with the remaining 115million, which cost $3.05billion — thrown away.

The cost estimates are based on a March 2023 report suggesting the 105million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine were sold to the Government at $30.48 per dose, while the 66million Moderna shots were sold at a cost of $26.36 per dose. 

But since this year’s rollout began, many people are coming forward to say they are struggling to get appointments or having to pay up to $200 out-of-pocket for the vaccine.

Among those affected is Eric Allix Rogers, 38, from Chicago, who ended up paying $155.99 for his updated Covid vaccine after the pharmacy said his insurance plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield, wasn’t covering the shot.

Some coming forward for Covid shots have already faced road blocks, including costs, despite the fact the vaccine should be covered by health insurances

Mr Rogers decided to pay — rather than waiting for the plan to update — because he had a bad bout of Covid in 2021 and didn’t want to take the risk .

‘We are being told we have to transition to treating covid as a routine matter, and yet the people responsible for medical care have not figured out how to treat it as a routine matter,’ he told the Washington Post.

‘This shouldn’t have been complicated.’

There are also delays with supplies, leading to hundreds of people being left stuck on the waiting list at some clinics.

America is an international outlier in recommending Covid boosters for younger age groups, with other countries previously only offering them to older adults.

But doctors in the US say the recommendation is because of the country’s healthcare model, with the blanket recommendation needed to ensure health insurance companies cover the costs.

The UK, for comparison, is rolling out the updated Covid booster only to adults aged 65 years and older — saying they are the group most at risk for severe disease.

Last year, the CDC also recommended the Covid bivalent booster for everyone aged six months and over.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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