Clinical and Epidemiological Study


, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 57-62

First online:

An intensive 5-year-long influenza vaccination campaign is effective among doctors but not nurses

  • A. FriedlAffiliated withInfectious Diseases/Department of Medicine Kantonsspital Baden, Switzerland Kantonsspital Baden AG Email author 
  • , C. AegerterAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Kantonsspital Baden
  • , E. SanerAffiliated withDepartment of Nursing, Kantonsspital Baden
  • , D. MeierAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Kantonsspital Baden
  • , J. H. BeerAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Kantonsspital BadenUniversity Hospital of Bern

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To double the vaccination rates of hospital employees from 20 to 40% by specific interventions over a 5-year period (2003–2007). The secondary endpoint was to compare the effects of the avian influenza in 2005 (intervention period) and the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009 (follow-up period, 2008–2009) on vaccination rates.

Design, setting, and participants

Free vaccination and its intensive propagation from 2003–2007 in a 400-bed teaching hospital with 1,687 hospital employees. Annual vaccination rates were obtained from 2003 through 2009.

Main outcome measurements

Yearly vaccination rates for the intervention period from 2003–2007 and the observational follow-up period of 2008–2009.


The overall rate for seasonal influenza vaccination changed non-significantly during the intervention period from 20% in 2003 to 27% in 2007. At the end of the follow-up period in 2009, the vaccination rate was 26%, which was not significantly higher compared with that in 2003. Physicians interestingly increased from 34% in 2003 to 62% in 2007 and to 66% in 2009 (p < 0.001), while nurses dropped non-significantly from an already low proportion of 18% in 2003 to 15% in 2007 and to 16% in 2009 for seasonal influenza vaccination. The difference between nurses and doctors in 2007 is highly significant (p < 0.001). In the year of the avian influenza threat (2005), a significant increase was observed (30 vs. 20%, p < 0.001). This observation was seen again in 2009 (influenza A/H1N1v pandemic), during which the H1N1 vaccine uptake was 33% (p < 0.001, compared to seasonal flu vaccine in 2003).


Overall, the vaccination rates did not increase over the 7-year study period. Interventions were successful for physicians but not for nurses. The vaccine uptake was significantly higher during the threat of avian influenza and the influenza A/H1N1v pandemic.


Influenza vaccination Health care workers Vaccination rates Physicians Nurses