Background Vaccination of health care workers against influenza has been shown to lower mortality among elderly patients, but uptake of voluntary vaccination among health care workers remains low.
Aims Factors influencing uptake of vaccination were examined among a cross-section of health care workers based in an NHS Trust.
Methods A structured, self-administered questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of health care workers based in the acute services sector of a UK National Health Service Trust, 6 months following a voluntary immunization programme implemented as part of the Scottish Executive Health Department winter planning arrangements for 2000-2001. The programme was promoted using posters in clinical areas and a single leaflet given to all staff through a paycheck advice note.
Results Five hundred and fifty-one health care workers (53%) responded to the questionnaire and influenza vaccination was accepted by 150 (28%). The occupational health poster strongly influenced the decision to accept vaccination [odds ratio (OR) = 11.01; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.13-56.80; P < 0.0001]. Other significant influences included female sex (OR = 9.11; 95% CI = 1.26-65.72) and perceived risk of contracting flu without the vaccine (OR = 7.70; 95% CI = 1.44-41.05). Misconceptions regarding the purpose of the vaccination campaign were common and concern regarding possible side-effects was a deterring factor for vaccination uptake.
Conclusion Our study showed that visual material displayed throughout the workplace strongly influenced the acceptance of influenza vaccination. Future campaigns should also emphasize the positive benefits to patients of health care worker immunization, with readily accessible information regarding side-effects available from all sources.
- health care workers
- RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL