Predictors of influenza vaccination among elderly: a cross-sectional survey in Greece
Senior individuals are particularly vulnerable to influenza. Research suggests that protection against the virus and its transmission in this high-risk group of the population can be achieved by active immunization against the pathogen.
To explore and analyze the attitudes, knowledge and behavior of people over the age of 60 on influenza vaccination.
Population and methods
This cross-sectional survey included people over the age of 60 who were eligible candidates for the influenza vaccine from 3 regions from Northern and 1 region from Southern Greece. A self-completed questionnaire based upon the Theory of Planned Behaviour, the Motivation for Vaccination (MoVac-flu) and the Vaccination Advocacy Scale (MovAd) was administered to the participants. Demographic characteristics and information about health status were also obtained.
The final sample included 318 participants with mean age of 70.7 years. More than half of the participants (56.6%) had received a flu vaccine in 2018 while 50.8% received it annually in previous years. Behavioral (p < 0.001), normative (p < 0.001), and control beliefs (p < 0.001), promoted the uptake of the vaccine and the increased intention score (p < 0.001) was associated with increased probability of vaccination. Greater age (p = 0.001) and frequent visits to the doctors (p = 0.003) had a positive influence upon the uptake of the vaccine.
Only a small proportion of those over the age of 60 had received the influenza vaccine. This finding is worrying, as it indicates the impact that a future outbreak of seasonal influenza could exert upon vulnerable groups. There is an urgent need for further, better and more evidence-based information from healthcare professionals to achieve greater vaccination coverage in the community.
KeywordsInfluenza vaccination Influenza vaccine Elderly Theory of planned behavior
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
Ethical approval was granted by the Bioethics Committee for the Faculty of Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (decision number1.56 21/11/18).
Statement of human rights
All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (include name of committee + reference number) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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