The leading reasons for nonvaccination reported for 1997-98, 1998-99,
2000-01, and 2001-02 were not knowing that influenza vaccination was needed
and concerns that vaccination might cause influenza or side effects. In 2000-01,
for the first time, one of the leading reasons was that vaccine was unavailable
or in short supply. For the 2000-01 season, 12.7% of unvaccinated respondents
reported vaccine unavailability as a reason for not receiving influenza vaccine.
This equates to approximately 1.25 million persons, or 4.2% of the total elderly
Medicare population living in the community, which amounts to roughly the
difference between the expected annual increase and the actual decline for
2000-01 in self-reported influenza vaccination. By contrast, during the 2001-02
influenza season, an estimated 7.5% of unvaccinated respondents (approximately
707,000 persons, or 2.3% of the total elderly Medicare population living in
the community) reported vaccine unavailability as a reason for nonvaccination.