247816 Factors and barriers influencing influenza vaccination of college students for 2009-2010

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kirstin Manges, BA , Department of Nursing, Luther College, Decorah, IA
In 2009, a novel H1N1 influenza virus emerged causing the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years. Colleges bring students from many communities together in a crowded environment conducive to rapid contagion. Vaccinations have been shown to effectively prevent the spread of influenza. This study estimated the prevalence of influenza vaccination and described factors associated with vaccination among students from a small midwestern liberal arts college. Approximately 215 students were randomly surveyed. From students surveyed, 41.8% of them received the 2009 seasonal influenza vaccine, 52% of students received the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and 33.5% of students received both. Students were asked to report their attitude about influenza vaccines. Responses were categorized into the top ten attitudes for or against getting the influenza vaccine. The top five factors that influenced students to receive the vaccine included pressure from their parents (33%), the vaccine being required for study abroad (32%), to prevent falling ill with influenza (11%), required for major (5%), and the student was classified as an at risk population for getting influenza (4%). The top five barriers to receiving the vaccine included the belief that influenza is not severe enough to be vaccinated for (35%), lack of time or finance (30%), fear of needles (10%), general negative perception of the vaccines effectiveness (8%), and being worried about safety of the H1N1 vaccine (5%). Overall investigating student's attitudes to influenza vaccinations is key to identifying barriers to immunization and to developing future strategies to improve planning for future pandemics.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Identify the top five factors college students indicated that positively influenced them to receive a influenza vaccine during the 2009-2010 flu season. Identify the top five barriers college students indicated that discouraged them from receiving an influenza vaccine during the 2009-2010 flu season. Describe at least three challenges that college student health services may face when trying to encourage college students to receive their influenza vaccine. Explain how the this project fits with the APHA theme of "health communities promote health minds and bodies".

Keywords: Infectious Diseases, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: BA in Biology, Luther College Current Senior Nursing Student, Luther College & Mayo Clinic I am qualified to present because I have had extensive involvement with working with college age populations, and have implemented other public health research projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.