Hollmeyer H G, Hayden F, Poland G, Buchholz U. Vaccine (27).2009; 3935-3944
Influenza vaccination of healthcare workers (HCW) reduces the risk of infection, influenza-like illness, absenteeism and presenteeism among staff and appears to prevent nosocomial infections and associated morbidity and mortality among their patients. The World Health Organization (WHO), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as immunisation guidelines of many countries recommend influenza vaccination of HCW, or at least of those who are in frequent contact with high-risk persons, in order to prevent transmission of influenza from HCW to patients. However, the same countries report a low uptake of influenza vaccine in HCW. The article refers to review of studies of self-reported reasons for rejecting or accepting vaccination. The study embraces articles published between 1998 and 2008 (data obtained using PUBMED computerised databases). To be included in the review the study had to list at least 6 reasons given by HCW for not having been vaccinated or at least 3 self-reported reasons for having been vaccinated. The reasons for receiving or not receiving vaccination have been grouped into 9 categories respectively.
ECDC comment: Influenza infections among hospitalized patients can have much more serious consequences than among the general population because an increasing proportion of hospital patients are elderly and/or immunocompromised. Healthcare workers are often the first contacts and key (most trustworthy and the most credible) informants to patients about flu in particular on issues related to vaccination. The knowledge about attitude of healthcare workers towards influenza vaccination, understanding reasons for its acceptance or non-acceptance play important role in reaching higher level of immunisation coverage in future. It would also be essential for planning ECDC health communication strategies addressed towards healthcare workers and aimed at supporting the Member States to better mitigate the impacts of influenza outbreaks.
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