Concern about Contracting the Swine Flu Has Become Widespread

Two Thirds of Americans Surveyed Give Good Marks to the Obama Administration on Dealing with the Issue

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Washington, DC – Over six in ten U.S. adults express concern that they themselves, someone in their household, or a close friend will get sick from the swine flu, according to a new telephone poll of over 1,000 adults conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. More specifically, 63% said they are concerned – 26% “very” and 37% “somewhat” so. This marks an increase in concern since May when just over half (51%) were worried about contracting the H1N1 virus. In contrast, roughly a third (37%) say that they are not concerned that they or their loved ones will get sick from swine flu (21% not very concerned; 15% not at all concerned).

However, notable differences emerge across demographic groups:

  • Women are more likely than are men to worry about catching swine flu (67% vs. 59%).
  • Those with a household income of less than $50,000 express greater concern than do more affluent adults (67% vs. 57%).
  • Adults aged 55 and older are more likely to fear that they will contract H1N1 than are adults under 35 (68% v. 57%).
  • Interestingly, despite the prevalence of the condition spreading in schools, parents of a child under the age of 18 are not significantly more likely than those without young children to worry about catching H1N1 (64% vs. 61%).

A majority (52%) say that it is likely that they will get vaccinated against the H1N1 virus when the vaccine becomes available in their area, including a third (33%) who say it is very likely. However, 47% say that it is not very (17%) or not at all likely (30%) that they will get the swine flu vaccine. Americans are fairly split about the vaccine across demographic groups.

Despite the delays in distributing the vaccine, two thirds (65%) feel confident that that the Obama administration has done everything in its power to ensure the H1N1 swine flu vaccine is available in time for flu season. Just a third (32%) report that they are not confident in the Obama administration’s handling of this issue.

African-Americans (91%), Hispanics (76%), adults under 35 (76%), and those who are unmarried (74%) are most likely to express confidence in Obama’s handling of the H1N1 vaccine. Not surprisingly, Democrats are more likely to be confident in the President’s handling of the epidemic (82%) than are Independents (56%) or Republicans (49%).

In fact, Americans tend to be more positive toward Obama regarding the swine flu than they are in general; just over half (53%) of adults approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President while 43% disapprove.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted October 30 – November 1, 2009. For the survey, a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of 1,077 adults aged 18 and older across the United States was interviewed by Ipsos. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population in the U.S. been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to U.S. Census figures. Respondents had the option to be interviewed in English or Spanish.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Clifford Young
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
312.777.3911
clifford.young@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. Ipsos Public Affairs is the polling agency of record for The McClatchy Company, the third-largest newspaper company in the United States and the international polling agency of record for Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.

Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-basedmarket research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

In 2008, Ipsos generated global revenues of €979.3 million ($1.34 billion U.S.).

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Concern about Contracting the Swine Flu Has Become Widespread

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US Public Sector

Ipsos Public Affairs
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