Despite doctors recommending flu shots for nearly all healthy individuals, a startling 43% of Americans will not get a flu shot this year according to a new Value Penguin survey.

Yet, the cost of not getting a flu shot is steep. The average American spent an average of $495 on doctor's visits for the flu in 2017–2018, nearly 11 times more than the cost of the flu shot without insurance. The flu also led to 810,000 hospitalizations and 61,000 deaths in just the 2017–2018 flu season. So why aren't more Americans getting a flu shot? 

  • Younger Women Are Less Likely To Get Flu Shots

 The willingness to get a flu shot increases with age among women, while men were more consistent as they age. Older women planned on getting flu shots at a rate of 134% higher than women aged 18 to 22. 

  • Americans Worry About the Effectiveness And Safety Of the Flu Shot

 74% of survey respondents who did not want the flu shot, cited "Don't think it works," "Flu shot makes me sick" or "Concerned about what's in the shot" as their top reasons to avoid the flu shot. Gen X respondents were most likely to feel this way. 

  • Cost is a Concern for Uninsured Americans

 Uninsured Americans were more than 6.5 times more likely than people with insurance to decline to get a flu shot over cost reasons. 

  • Should the Flu Shot Be Mandatory? 

Opinions were mixed on whether schools and businesses should require the flu shot. 66% agreed that flu shots should be mandatory for public school students, but only 55% felt that employers should require the same.