Healthcare workers' attitude towards influenza vaccination after the 2009 pandemic

Occup Med (Lond). 2014 Jul;64(5):348-51. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqu048. Epub 2014 Apr 9.


Background: Previous studies have demonstrated the variability of healthcare workers' (HCWs) willingness to consider seasonal influenza vaccination, possibly to the detriment of their patients.

Aims: To ascertain HCW uptake of H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccination and the reasons why one or both might have been declined following the pandemic of 2009.

Methods: An online, anonymous survey of HCWs across five, acute National Health Service trusts was undertaken in 2010.

Results: A total of 765 responses were obtained, of which the two main groups of participants were doctors of all grades (42%) and qualified nurses (40%). The willingness to be vaccinated increased with age. Senior doctors were the occupational group most likely to have had both vaccinations, but where they did decline they mainly did so because they perceived influenza to be a minor illness. Females were more likely to decline vaccination due to a fear of side effects, whereas males, particularly younger ones, viewed influenza as a minor illness. Junior doctors cited lack of availability of immunization sessions as one of the main reasons why they may not have had vaccination.

Conclusions: Future influenza vaccination campaigns should consider using different approaches depending on the gender and occupational mix of the target population, rather than adopting a 'one-size' fits all approach.

Keywords: Influenza; NHS workforce; vaccination..

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype* / immunology
  • Influenza, Human* / epidemiology
  • Influenza, Human* / immunology
  • Influenza, Human* / virology
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses*
  • Pandemics
  • Physicians*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination*
  • Young Adult