Seasonal influenza vaccination in adults: practice and attitudes about collaborative delivery with community vaccinators

Vaccine. 2011 Nov 3;29(47):8649-55. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.08.126. Epub 2011 Sep 18.


Background: Less than half of adults for whom seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended receive the vaccine. Little is known about physician willingness to collaborate with community vaccinators to improve delivery of vaccine.

Objectives: To assess among general internists and family medicine physicians: (1) seasonal influenza vaccination practices, (2) willingness to collaborate with community vaccinators, (3) barriers to collaboration, and (4) characteristics associated with unwillingness to refer patients to community sites for vaccination.

Design: Mail and Internet-based survey.

Setting: National survey conducted during July-October 2009.

Participants: General internists and family medicine physicians.

Measurements: Survey responses on vaccination practices, willingness to collaborate to deliver vaccine and barriers to collaboration.

Results: Response rates were 78% (337/432 general internists) and 70% (298/424 family medicine physicians). Ninety-eight percent of physicians reported giving influenza vaccine in their practice during the 2008-2009 season. Most physicians reported willingness to refer certain patients to other community vaccinators such as public clinics or pharmacies (79%); to collaborate with public health entities in holding community vaccination clinics (76%); and set up vaccination clinics with other practices (69%). The most frequently reported barriers to collaboration included concerns about record transfer (24%) and the time and effort collaboration would take (21%). Reporting loss of income (RR 1.40, 95% CI 1.03-1.89) and losing opportunities to provide important medical services to patients with chronic medical conditions (RR 1.77, 95% CI 1.25-2.78) were associated with unwillingness to refer patients outside of the practice for vaccination.

Limitations: Surveyed physicians may not be representative of all physicians.

Conclusions: The majority of physicians report willingness to collaborate with other community vaccinators to increase influenza vaccination rates although some will need assurance that collaboration will be financially feasible and will not compromise care. Successful collaboration will require reliable record transfer and must not be time consuming.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Services Research*
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination / methods*


  • Influenza Vaccines