Introduction: The objective of our study was to assess, in an at-risk population, perception and knowledge about influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations.
Methods: An anonymous web-based survey was submitted to patients recruited in France, from both an Ipsos internal panel and AVNIR patient associations. The study was conducted between July and October 2020, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results: Overall, 2177 questionnaires from patients at risk of infection were analyzed. Almost all respondents (86%, 1869/2177) declared themselves to be favorable to vaccination. Nearly half of the patients (49%, 1069/2177) were aware of which vaccine was recommended for their specific situation. This percentage was significantly (p < 0.001) higher for members of a patient association and for people affected by multiple chronic conditions and varied according to the type of condition. Almost two-thirds of patients (1373/2177) declared having been vaccinated during the 2019/2020 influenza season, and 41% (894/2177) were certain about being up to date with the pneumococcal vaccination. The main barriers to vaccination for influenza are the fear of side effects, doubt regarding the efficacy of the vaccine and for pneumococcal vaccination, and the absence of suggestions by the healthcare professionals (HCPs), as 64% of respondents were not recommended to obtain pneumococcal vaccination. To improve vaccine coverage, information is of prime importance and GPs are recognized as the main HCP to inform about vaccination. Nearly two-thirds (62%, 1360/2177) of patients declared that the COVID-19 pandemic convinced them to have all the recommended vaccines.
Conclusion: Our study highlighted the nonoptimal vaccine coverage in at-risk populations despite a highly positive perception of vaccines and confirmed that physicians are on the front lines to suggest and recommend these vaccinations, especially in the current pandemic context, which may be used to promote other vaccines.
Keywords: COVID-19 vaccines; immunization; immunocompromised; pneumococcal vaccines; seasonal influenza vaccines; vaccination; vaccination coverage.