ICHD calls swine flu poll "very discouraging"

LANSING, MI – Ingham County health officials say they're "very discouraged" by a recent poll that indicates few people may get vaccinated against the swine flu. On Monday a survey of 600 Michigan voters by Lansing polling firm EPIC/MRA showed only 30% have received or plan to get the H1N1 vaccine. Marcus Cheatham is a spokesman for the Ingham County Health Department. He says parents don't understand that H1N1 poses a greater threat to children than the seasonal flu.

"We really need to help the public understand the difference between the two diseases," he says. "They are not alike. It's really important for younger people to get the H1N1 and older people to get the seasonal flu and we have not succeeded in getting that message out."

Cheatham says some Lansing TV and radio stations will be stepping up messages promoting swine flu awareness in coming days. The department plans its first mass vaccination clinic this Saturday for people considered at high risk for the disease.