Correlation between healthcare workers' knowledge of influenza vaccine and vaccine receipt

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2003 Nov;24(11):845-7. doi: 10.1086/502147.


Objective: Influenza vaccine receipt by healthcare workers (HCWs) is important because HCWs are at risk for occupational exposure to influenza and may act as vectors in the nosocomial transmission of influenza. HCWs were surveyed to determine whether belief in commonly held influenza vaccine misconceptions was associated with influenza vaccine acceptance.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: A large urban teaching hospital.

Method: A self-administered survey was used to assess nursing and physician staff influenza vaccine knowledge, current vaccination status, and potential reasons for vaccine declination.

Results: Two hundred twelve of 215 surveys were completed. The overall influenza vaccination rate was 73%. Physician staff were significantly more likely to have been vaccinated compared with nursing staff (82% vs 62%, respectively; P = .0009). HCWs answering the 5 influenza vaccine basic knowledge questions correctly were significantly more likely to have been vaccinated than those responding incorrectly to any question (84% vs 64%, respectively; P = .002). This association was present in the nursing group where 80% of those answering the knowledge questions correctly were vaccinated, but only 49% of those answering incorrectly were vaccinated (P = .000005). However, in the physician group, there was no significant difference in the influenza vaccination rates between those answering correctly and those answering incorrectly (P = .459).

Conclusion: Belief in commonly held influenza vaccine misconceptions was significantly associated with influenza vaccine declination among nursing staff and may act as a barrier to greater rates of influenza vaccination. Reasons for influenza vaccine nonreceipt may differ between nursing and physician staff.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Connecticut
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Internship and Residency
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Nurses / psychology
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Students, Medical / psychology
  • Vaccination / psychology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workforce


  • Influenza Vaccines