Survey: Amid COVID-19 pandemic, less than 60% in U.S. plan to get flu vaccine

Oct. 1 (UPI) — Less than 60% of people in the United States plan to be vaccinated against the flu this winter, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Although fewer than one-third of respondents said that the COVID-19 pandemic would make them more likely to be vaccinated, nearly half said they were concerned about the potential effects of the new coronavirus on the seasonal bug, the data showed.

However, 25% said that if flu vaccines were offered in alternative settings — like drive-thru clinics — as well as medical offices and pharmacies, they would be more likely to be vaccinated.

“If there was ever a time to get the flu vaccine, this is the year,” Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, said Thursday during a conference call with reporters.

“We are going to see a double-barreled respiratory virus season where COVID-19 and the flu collide … and October is the golden month” for people in the United States to make sure they are up to date with their vaccines, said Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults in August about their attitudes toward flu and pneumococcal disease, or pneumonia, prevention, just before the start of the flu season in most of the United States.

At the time, COVID-19 cases were increasing in many regions in the South and Midwest.

During the 2019-20 flu season, 48% of all U.S. adults — and 52% of people in the country overall — were vaccinated against the seasonal virus, a 2% increase over the previous year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 1,000 adults who participated in the foundation’s survey, 59% said they would obtain the flu shot this year.

Assuming they do so — and that these findings reflect national trends — this would mark a significant increase in the number of people vaccinated against the flu, researchers said.

However, it “still isn’t enough … given the challenge we will inevitably face with COVID-19 in the winter,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on the conference call.

Being vaccinated against the flu not only reduces a person’s risk for getting infected, but it also lowers the risk for severe illness and infection from the virus and “keeps [people] out of the hospital,” Fauci said.

Fauci and others have warned that an expected increase in COVID-19 cases this winter could be a “challenging” situation.

Forty-six percent of the respondents to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases survey said they are worried about co-infection with flu and COVID-19, and 28% reported that the pandemic will make them more likely to become vaccinated against flu this year.

However, 22% of those surveyed who are at high risk for flu-related complications — adults age 65 years and older, smokers and those with diabetes, asthma, heart

Coronavirus infection rate rising but scope for more, Indian survey shows

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Coronavirus infection rates among adults in India have risen sharply, a survey showed on Tuesday, although a large percentage of the population has not yet been exposed, suggesting there is scope for cases to rise much further.

In the serological survey conducted in August and September, blood samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. If a person tests positive for the antibodies, it means they were infected with the virus at some point.

Blood samples collected from more than 29,000 adults between Aug. 17 and Sept. 22 showed that the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies increased to 7.1% compared to 0.73% in a previous survey between May 11 and June 4, the director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Balram Bhargava, told a press briefing.

“However, a large percentage of the population is still unexposed and the susceptibility of a considerable section of people getting infected exists,” he added.

The second survey was conducted in the same 700 villages and wards from 70 districts in 21 states as the first. Results from the second survey also showed urban slum and non-slum areas had a higher infection prevalence than rural areas.

“The new (survey) shows lockdown and containment measures as well as behaviour change at population level checked spread of SARS-CoV-2,” Bhargava said.

India on Tuesday reported 70,589 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 6.15 million cases. The country leads the world in the daily average number of new infections reported.

The vice-president of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu, said in a tweet late on Tuesday that he had tested positive and has been advised to home quarantine as he remains asymptomatic.

In the past, several other federal ministers have also tested positive.

(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Nupur Anand; editing by Barbara Lewis and Giles Elgood)

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Coronavirus Infection Rate Rising but Scope for More, Indian Survey Shows | World News

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Coronavirus infection rates among adults in India have risen sharply, a survey showed on Tuesday, although a large percentage of the population has not yet been exposed, suggesting there is scope for cases to rise much further.

In the serological survey conducted in August and September, blood samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. If a person tests positive for the antibodies, it means they were infected with the virus at some point.

Blood samples collected from more than 29,000 adults between Aug. 17 and Sept. 22 showed that the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies increased to 7.1% compared to 0.73% in a previous survey between May 11 and June 4, the director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Balram Bhargava, told a press briefing.

“However, a large percentage of the population is still unexposed, and the susceptibility of a considerable section of people getting infected exists,” he added.

The second survey was conducted in the same 700 villages and wards from 70 districts in 21 states as the first survey. Results from the second survey also showed urban slum and non-slum areas had a higher infection prevalence than rural areas.

“The new (survey) shows lockdown and containment measures as well as behaviour change at population level checked spread of SARS-CoV-2,” Bhargava said.

India on Tuesday reported 70,589 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 6.15 million cases. The country leads the world in the daily average number of new infections reported.

(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Barbara Lewis and Giles Elgood)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Survey: Americans are Concerned About Their Physical Fitness and Mental Health

Survey: Americans are Concerned About Their Physical Fitness and Mental Health – Yet Resolved to Take Charge of Their Self-Care

PR Newswire

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Sept. 29, 2020

Sports Nutrition Leader OPTIMUM NUTRITION® offering free expert training and advice to restart a healthy lifestyle routine through the brand’s BETTER THAN BEFORE program

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The COVID-19 pandemic has Americans concerned about their physical and mental well-being. A new survey* reveals a majority of Americans are exercising less, with nearly half gaining weight and neglecting healthy eating as they deal with feelings of isolation and perceived barriers to maintaining their health and fitness. Yet, a majority are resolving to emerge stronger, with nearly nine in 10 Americans hoping to improve at least one aspect of their self-care. Global sports nutrition leader, OPTIMUM NUTRITION (“ON”), commissioned the survey and is aiming to help people be BETTER THAN BEFORE with an ongoing program of free training sessions, dynamic workouts, and a social community of support on the brand’s social channels.

Resolving to help Americans facing fitness and wellness challenges, Optimum Nutrition offering free, expert training and advice to support a healthy lifestyle through BETTER THAN BEFORE livestreamed events: running Oct. 5 -9 on Optimum Nutrition's Instagram (@optimumnutrition).
Resolving to help Americans facing fitness and wellness challenges, Optimum Nutrition offering free, expert training and advice to support a healthy lifestyle through BETTER THAN BEFORE livestreamed events: running Oct. 5 -9 on Optimum Nutrition’s Instagram (@optimumnutrition).

ON’s upcoming BETTER THAN BEFORE series of free livestreamed events (running October 5th-9th), will offer expert coaching in fitness, nutrition and mental health. The sessions – including workouts, information sessions and Q&A – will feature leading fitness professionals, influencers and celebrities, along with registered dieticians and health providers.

“COVID-19 has disrupted our fitness and nutrition routines and it’s taught us a lot about ourselves. We commissioned this survey to measure how we could support consumers maintaining their fitness and self-care routines. We found that while Americans have weathered significant setbacks, they are resolved to take charge of their own health and fitness,” said Sarah Lombard, marketing director for ON.

“Supporting those who are making a commitment to their fitness in in our brand DNA and we’ve done it for over 30 years. ON is responding to this moment by pulling together some of our strongest trainers and experts to support people on their quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even for those who are struggling with their motivation and changes to their finances and gym access,” said Lombard.

Snapshot of a Pandemic-Weathered Nation
ON survey results show that a majority of Americans (62%) are concerned with their overall health. Healthy habits such as workouts and pickup sports games with friends have taken a back seat of late, with 63% of respondents admitting they are not as active as they’d like to be.

More than half (51%) are exercising less than before the pandemic: 45% report gaining weight and 42% say they are eating less healthy. And a majority of respondents (85%) say they are facing barriers to getting healthier, be it a lack of motivation (38%), lack of financial resources (33%) or