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HHS HealthBeat (January 24, 2013)

Pricing flu risk

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates people think they face more flu risk if the price of a vaccination is lower.

At Tulane University in New Orleans, researchers told some people a lower price for vaccination and others a higher price. People in the higher-price group felt they had a lower risk of the flu.

Researcher Janet Schwartz points out the risk is the same no matter what the vaccine costs. Her study found consumers believe lower prices signal a greater need, which makes them feel more at risk.

Asked about vaccination, Schwartz advises:

“Get a flu shot. It’s not going to be expensive, getting the flu is miserable, and if you’re not worried about getting flu yourself, get vaccinated because you keep other people healthy.”

The study in the Journal of Consumer Research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 24, 2013