Exploring strategies to promote influenza vaccination of children with medical comorbidities: the perceptions and practices of hospital healthcare workers

BMC Health Serv Res. 2019 Nov 29;19(1):911. doi: 10.1186/s12913-019-4742-5.


Background: To explore how the influenza vaccine is promoted and delivered to children with medical comorbidities in the hospital setting, as well as the facilitators of and barriers to vaccination from the healthcare worker perspective.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff members (n = 17) at a paediatric hospital in Sydney, Australia between April and July 2018. This included nurses, clinical nurse consultants, pediatricians and department heads. The interviews were transcribed and analysed iteratively to generate the major themes.

Results: Approaches used to promote and/or deliver the influenza vaccine varied among the participants. Some described the vaccine as an ingrained component of their clinical consultation. Others acknowledged that there was missed opportunities to discuss or provide the vaccine, citing competing priorities as well as a lack of awareness, time and resources. Participants perceived that some parents had concerns about safety and appropriateness of the vaccine for their child. While there was some support for sending reminders and/or educating patients through the hospital, there were differing perspectives on whether tertiary centres should be delivering the vaccine.

Conclusion: Hospital-based interventions to increase vaccine uptake must consider the needs of staff. Easily accessible information and increased awareness of the recommendations among staff may lead to improved uptake in this hospital. Additional resources would be required to increase on-site delivery of the vaccine.

Keywords: Comorbidities; Healthcare worker; Influenza; Paediatric; Promotion; Vaccination.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Health Personnel*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Vaccination / methods*


  • Influenza Vaccines