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Poll: Americans losing confidence in H1N1 battle

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 51 percent confident in government's ability to prevent H1N1 epidemic
  • Number of Americans who are confident is down 8 percentage points from August
  • Mothers most likely to think that there will not be enough vaccine to go around
  • 4 of 10 people in poll say the disapprove of how President Obama is handling H1N1

Washington (CNN) -- Americans are starting to lose confidence in the government's ability to prevent a nationwide epidemic of the H1N1 flu, according to a new national poll.

But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Tuesday morning, indicates a small majority continue to say that the government and private industry eventually will produce enough of the vaccine for the virus, also known as swine flu, to inoculate everyone who wants it.

According to the poll, 51 percent of those questioned are confident in the government's ability to prevent an H1N1 epidemic, with 49 percent not confident. The number of Americans who are confident is down 8 percentage points from August, while the number of those not confident is up 9 percentage points.

"Only one in 10 say they are 'very confident' that the government can ward off an epidemic," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But the growing doubts may not be directly related to the shortfall of vaccine so far."

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RELATED TOPICS
  • Swine Flu
  • Vaccines
  • Barack Obama

Fifty-three percent of those questioned say that government and private industry can produce enough vaccine for everyone who wants a swine flue shot. That number is essentially unchanged since August.

The poll indicates that one group in particular is skeptical about the government's efforts to battle swine flu. Full results (PDF)

"Only 43 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are confident in the government's ability to prevent an epidemic," says Holland. "That's 7 points lower than fathers and 10 points lower than people who don't have young children. Mothers are also most likely to think that there will not be enough vaccine to go around."

According to the poll, 57 percent approve of how President Obama's handling the government's response to H1N1, with 4 in 10 saying they disapprove.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 30 through November 1, with 1,018 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall sample.

Federal health officials report that the swine flu remains widespread in 48 states but add that the supply of vaccine has reached 32 million doses, double what was available two weeks ago.

CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.