Knowledge, attitude, and practices about the seasonal influenza vaccination among healthcare workers in Srinagar, India

Nargis K Bali, M Ashraf, Feroze Ahmad, Umar H Khan, Marc-Alain Widdowson, Renu B Lal, Parvaiz A Koul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) universally have a poor uptake of influenza vaccination. However, no data are available from India.

OBJECTIVE: To explore knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with influenza vaccination in HCWs in a temperate climate area in northern India.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire was offered to all HCWs in three major hospitals of Srinagar and information sought on motivations, perceptions, preferences and practices regarding influenza vaccination.

RESULTS: Of the 1750 questionnaires received, 1421 (81%) were returned. Only 62 (4·4%) HCWs had ever received influenza vaccination even as 1348 (95%) believed that influenza poses adverse potential consequences for themselves or their contacts; 1144 (81%) were aware of a vaccine against influenza and 830 (58%) of its local availability. Reasons cited by 1359 participants for not being vaccinated included ignorance about vaccine availability (435; 32%), skepticism about efficacy (248; 18%), busy schedule (166; 12%), fear of side effects (70; 4%), and a perception of not being-at-risk (82; 6%). Sixty-one percent (865) believed that vaccine programs are motivated by profit. Eighty-eight percent opined for mandatory vaccination for HCWs caring for the high-risk patients, as a part of 'employee health program'. Most of the participants intended to get vaccinated in the current year even as 684 (48%) held that vaccines could cause unknown illness and 444 (31%) believed their adverse effects to be underreported.

CONCLUSION: Influenza vaccination coverage among HCWs is dismally low in Srinagar; poor knowledge of vaccine availability and misperceptions about vaccine effectiveness, fear of adverse effects and obliviousness to being-at-risk being important barriers. Multifaceted, adaptable measures need to be invoked urgently to increase the coverage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInfluenza and Other Respiratory Viruses
Volume7
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)540-5
Number of pages6
ISSN1750-2640
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2013

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cross Infection/epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Personnel
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • India
  • Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage
  • Influenza, Human/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination/psychology
  • Young Adult

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