Online Program

Voluntary Influenza Vaccination Uptake among Healthcare Workers at a Southeastern Medical Center

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Matt Hutchins, Ph.D., Department of Applied Health Sciences, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
Yasenka Peterson, PhD, College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services, Indiana State University, Terre Haute
Jim Melancon, PhD, Health Sciences, Walden University, Duncanville, TX
Caroline Epler, RN, MS, Indiana State University, Terre Haute
background: Influenza, also known as the flu, is one of the most common seasonal illnesses with outbreaks occurring each year. Although most cases of influenza are mild, up to 25% require outpatient medical care, and up to 5% require inpatient or intensive. Thus, the prevention of influenza is highly important for maintaining health and reducing mortality. Many hospitals have implemented voluntary influenza vaccination programs, which provide free seasonal influenza vaccines for all staff. However, even though the vaccination reduces the infection rate by up to 90%, the uptake of hospital-provided vaccination is relatively low.

methods: This study identified characteristics of healthcare workers who declined the flu vaccination in a United States teaching hospital. The study analyzed existing data from the 2010-2011 flu vaccination program gained from the employee database of the hospital.

results: Significant factors identified as affecting vaccination choices were ethnicity, professional role, years of experience, and level of patient contact. African Americans were found to have high rates of attitude based responses and participants with higher levels of direct patient contact and more years’ of experience were more likely to be vaccinated. Physicians (1.7%) were the lowest-refusing group while environmental service workers (27.4%) had the highest rates of refusal. The rate of overall vaccine uptake was significantly higher (80.7%) than in previous studies. Pre-existing attitudes and beliefs about vaccine side effects were associated with higher refusal rates. No significant differences based on gender or on age were found. Attitude-based declinations accounted for 12.7% of vaccination declinations in the chosen hospital.

conclusions: It appears that the program to educate hospital personnel about the importance of vaccination was effective. There were still certain segments of this population that had higher rates of vaccination refusal suggesting that more specific education and interventions be aimed at those particular groups.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the rate of vaccination uptake among healthcare workers.

Keyword(s): Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been in academia for over 23 years. Have had several peer review publications and well as external grants.
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.