Why are influenza vaccination coverage rates still too low among health care workers in a tertiary care children's hospital in Turkey?

J Public Health Policy. 2021 Mar;42(1):41-52. doi: 10.1057/s41271-020-00250-1.

Abstract

Annual influenza vaccination offers the best means to control and prevent influenza-associated illnesses. Vaccination of health care workers (HCWs) is crucial for reducing influenza-related morbidity and mortality, and health authorities recommend universal vaccination of this population. We evaluate the rates of influenza vaccination among HCWs and factors influencing uptake among health care professional groups in a children's hospital in Ankara, Turkey. We surveyed 108 HCWs using a self-administered questionnaire. Influenza vaccination coverage rates (VCR) among HCWs for at least one dose in their lifetimes was 60.2%. In the 2016-2017 influenza season, VCR of HCWs was 14.8%. We found a significantly higher rate of vaccinated participants among physicians (83.3%), older HCWs (mean age ± SD, 36.2 ± 7.7 year), HCWs who believed in the necessity for vaccination (79.5%), and HCWs who have worked for a longer time (> 5 years) in the health care profession (71.2%) (p = 0.023, p = 0.002, p = 0.001, p = 0.003 respectively). For those who refused vaccination, the most common reason was doubts about its effectiveness. The most used source for information about the influenza vaccine among HCWs was the Ministry of Health (MoH). The MoH's policies should prioritize HCWs to improve VCRs.

Keywords: Attitude; Health policy; Healthcare worker; Influenza; Seasonal; Vaccination coverage; Vaccine.