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Flu Vaccination Rate Varies Among California Health Professionals

A flu vaccine vial is shown in this undated photo.

Credit: San Diego County

Above: A flu vaccine vial is shown in this undated photo.

When it comes to getting an annual flu shot, doctors and other health professionals don't necessarily follow medical advice.

The California Department of Public Health tracks flu vaccination rates among health-care workers.

It found in 2017 statewide, hospital employees had an average vaccination rate of 83 percent. But among independent health professionals, including doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, the rate was only 67 percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common reason health-care workers give for not getting the shot is that they don't think flu vaccines work.

Either way, this year's flu epidemic has been especially severe in San Diego. The most recent Influenza Watch report from the San Diego County Department of Health & Human Services revealed so far this season, there have been 17,375 cases of the flu, and 283 deaths.

Public health officials recommend an annual flu shot for everyone over six months of age. But not all health professionals heed that advice.

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