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.
- Attitude of Health Personnel
- Cross Infection/epidemiology
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
- Health Personnel
- Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage
- Influenza, Human/epidemiology
- Middle Aged
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- Young Adult