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Public Perception of the Risks Associated with Infectious Diseases in Poland: Ebola and Influenza and Their Impact on the Attitude to Vaccination

Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (NR,volume 980)

Abstract

While the Ebola outbreak in 2014 was strongly highlighted in mainstream media and perceived as a threat to public health in Poland, influenza was regarded as a triviality and the vaccination coverage was low. In the present study, by analyzing feedback from an on-line questionnaire (from November 2014 to January 2015) we assessed the knowledge concerning Ebola and influenza together with attitudes to immunization of 544 respondents (45% medical staff). The findings were that 92.6% of respondents declared readiness to vaccination before traveling to endemic regions if a vaccine against Ebola would have existed, but adverse reactions, high costs, and low effectiveness would adversely affect that decision. While 84.2% of respondents declared awareness of influenza attributing significantly to the cause of death, only 65.4% considered influenza as an actual danger for people in Poland and 46.7% thought that Poland was not an endemic region for influenza. Nearly 23% declared that they were already vaccinated against influenza. The majority of respondents (67.5%) were not going to be vaccinated. We conclude that awareness of risk related to infectious diseases is an important determinant when deciding whether to vaccinate. However, negative information about the vaccine has some bearing on the decision to get vaccinated.

Keywords

  • Decision-making
  • Healthcare workers
  • Immunization
  • Prevention
  • Sociocultural epidemiology

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.

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Correspondence to Kamila Ludwikowska .

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Kuchar, E., Ludwikowska, K., Marciniak, D., Szenborn, L., Nitsch-Osuch, A. (2017). Public Perception of the Risks Associated with Infectious Diseases in Poland: Ebola and Influenza and Their Impact on the Attitude to Vaccination. In: Pokorski, M. (eds) Respiratory System Diseases. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology(), vol 980. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/5584_2016_207

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