Influenza Vaccination Compliance Among Health Care Workers in a German University Hospital
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- Wicker, S., Rabenau, H.F., Doerr, H.W. et al. Infection (2009) 37: 197. doi:10.1007/s15010-008-8200-2
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Since 1988, the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) at the Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin, has explicitly recommended that health-care workers (HCWs) should be vaccinated against seasonal influenza. However, acceptance of the influenza vaccination by medical personnel is low.
This study analyzes factors associated with the compliance of HCWs with the seasonal influenza vaccination on the basis of three different anonymized questionnaires during two consecutive influenza seasons: 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. The questionnaires covered details of demographics, frequency of previous vaccinations, reasons for accepting or declining the vaccination, and the HCW’s knowledge of the influenza vaccine and influenza itself.
Our study showed that physicians were significantly more likely to have been vaccinated than nurses (38.8% vs 17.4%; p < 0.0001). The main reasons for noncompliance included: supposition of a low risk of infection, fear of side effects, the belief that the influenza vaccine might trigger the influenza virus infection, and scepticism about the effectiveness of the influenza vaccination.
Our findings confirm the importance of a comprehensive approach to the vaccination, ensuring that HCWs are correctly informed about the vaccine and that it is convenient to receive it.