346. Attitudes and Perceptions of Seasonal Influenza Vaccinations amongst Health Care Workers in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Influenza Vaccine in Children and Adults
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Room: The Moscone Center: Poster Hall C
Posters
  • Poster - IDWeek.pdf (365.1 kB)
  • Background: Influenza causes significant morbidity and mortality, especially amongst those with weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions. Influenza vaccination is a primary method to prevent transmission of the influenza virus and its associated morbidity. Despite the fact that vaccinating health care workers (HCWs) can play a critical role in preventing transmission to vulnerable populations, HCW vaccination rates remain sub-optimal. Thus, many organizations have advocated for influenza vaccination requirements for HCWs. Although many institutions have adopted mandatory influenza vaccination requirements and demonstrated significant increases in HCW vaccination rates, mandatory influenza vaccination policies remain controversial. The objective of this study is to determine HCW attitudes and perceptions towards influenza vaccinations.

    Methods: An anonymous, electronic survey was made available to Saskatoon Health Region HCWs between December 31, 2012 and March 15, 2013. Rates of vaccination, type of work setting, level of patient contact, perceptions of influenza risk and vaccination safety, types of barriers preventing vaccination, and attitudes towards mandatory influenza vaccination policies were collected. Our final analytical sample comprised 1,403 respondents.

    Results: A total of 75.5% of HCWs reported receiving an influenza vaccination during the 2012-2013 influenza season. The most commonly reported barriers to vaccination were fear of adverse events (18.5%), inconvenience (18.3%), time constraints (16.5%), perception of vaccine ineffectiveness (15.1%) and perception of being at no risk (10.3%). A total of 59.6% of HCWs reported greater inclination to obtain an influenza vaccination in order to maintain employment. Perception of the risk of influenza, threats of influenza to health, protective effects and safety of vaccination to both self and others were all significantly associated with greater inclination to obtain vaccination if mandated (p < 0.005).

    Conclusion: Our results demonstrate a majority of HCWs support mandatory influenza vaccination. Ongoing education regarding influenza vaccination and strategies addressing barriers to vaccination are critical to engaging HCWs and optimizing influenza vaccination rates amongst HCWs.

    Shaqil Peermohamed, MD, Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada and Oscar E. Larios, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada

    Disclosures:

    S. Peermohamed, None

    O. E. Larios, None

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