, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 741-746
Date: 10 Jun 2012

Understanding Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Related to Influenza and the Influenza Vaccine in US–Mexico Border Communities

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Abstract

Hispanics are less likely to receive the influenza vaccine compared to other racial and ethnic groups in the US. Hispanic residents of the US–Mexico border region may have differing health beliefs and behaviors, and their cross-border mobility impacts disease control. To assess beliefs and behaviors regarding influenza prevention and control among border populations, surveys were conducted at border clinics. Of 197 respondents, 34 % reported conditions for which vaccination is indicated, and travel to Mexico was common. Few (35 %) believed influenza could make them ‘very sick’, and 76 % believed they should take antibiotics to treat influenza. Influenza vaccine awareness was high, and considered important, but only 36 % reported recent vaccination. The belief that influenza vaccination is ‘very important’ was strongly associated with recent vaccination; “Didn’t think about it” was the most common reason for being un-vaccinated. Misconceptions about influenza risk, prevention and treatment were common in this Hispanic border population; improved educational efforts and reminder systems could impact vaccination behaviors.