Changes in Attitudes and Barriers to Seasonal Influenza Vaccination from 2007 to 2023

J Community Health. 2023 Sep 11. doi: 10.1007/s10900-023-01277-7. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

This study investigated how factors and barriers to flu vaccination among college students has changed over the past 16 years. Data were collected from 440 students using a survey and compared to previous data from the same university. Respondents were also asked about their experiences with Covid-19 and its effect on their intent to vaccinate. We found that vaccination rates had increased from 12.4 to 30.5%. Among the unvaccinated, expense, fear of getting influenza from vaccination, fear of side effects, and lack of information have decreased by 28%, 20%, 17%, and 15% respectively. Time, convenience, and perceived risk are still significant barriers to vaccination. Students are getting more encouragement to vaccinate from their health care providers and parents, but it is becoming less effective. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed vaccine attitudes and vaccine fatigue has been a large contributor. Additionally, political affiliation has become a predictor of flu vaccine uptake with conservatives being less likely to vaccinate. There has also been a shift in motivation from concern for personal safety to concern for public safety.

Keywords: COVID-19; Seasonal influenza vaccine; Vaccine fatigue; Vaccine hesitancy.