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In the first half of 2023, COVID-19 killed 42,670 people in the United States, while the flu killed about half that amount. Yet half as many people received the updated COVID booster as those who got the flu shot—even though COVID is twice as deadly as influenza.

In all, around 22% of people have received the new COVID booster, while 47% of people have had a flu vaccine. Experts said much of that COVID-shot resistance is due to the continued polarizing nature of the pandemic and of the COVID vaccine, which has been shown to reduce the risk for long COVID as well as serious acute viral infections and deaths.

"COVID shots are controversial and polarizing, whereas flu shots (for the most part) are not. The decision to get or not get a flu shot is made calmly," said Peter M. Sandman, PhD, an expert in risk communication who writes about COVID risks and our responses to them. Head over to Medscape to read the full story.