Nurses' Influenza Vaccination and Hesitancy: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Literature

Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Jun 22;10(7):997. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10070997.


Vaccine hesitancy (VH) is defined as "delaying or refusing a secure vaccine despite its availability". This hesitancy affects caregivers and more specifically nurses. The purpose of this study is to assess determinants of influenza VH in the nurse's community. We conducted a systematic review of qualitative literature according to criteria of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis and Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the synthesis of Qualitative Research from 2009 until October 2020. Eleven qualitative studies analysed (ten thematic content analyses and one grounded theory method) found three main factors in VH. The first determinant was the benefit-risk equation considered as unfavourable due to an ineffective vaccine and fears about adverse effects as the pain of the injection. Wrong immunological beliefs brought into hesitancy. Disease barriers (hand washing and masks) and personal immunity were regarded as more effective than the vaccine. Lastly, dehumanised vaccination and the difficulties of access to healthcare were institutional determinants. Nurses ask for a vaccine promotion by hierarchy and doctors with transparent information and respect for autonomy. The availability of vaccines and methods of pain control seem to be some tracks to reduce nurses' VH.

Keywords: flu/influenza vaccines; qualitative research; vaccine hesitancy.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.