1599a Flu vaccination for health care workers – why and why not?

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Abstract

Influenza is a common infection affecting the general population. It has various implications on both patients and health care workers (HCWs). HCWs can acquire influenza from the patients and their co-workers or vice versa. It is a major cause of sickness absenteeism among HCWs.

Influenza vaccination is one of the effective means of preventing influenza illness. It is usually carried out once or twice each year, depending on the predicted virus strains. Guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and many countries recommend influenza vaccination for HCWs. More importantly, as an infection control practice, vaccination can reduce transmission of influenza in healthcare settings, including protecting elderly and immunocompromised patients, who have higher mortality from complications of influenza. However, influenza vaccination rates among HCWs are universally low in many countries.

This study was conducted among nursing staff in two hospitals in Singapore. The aims were to understand the knowledge, perceived benefits, cultural values and behaviour of nursing staff towards influenza vaccinations. This study will help us understand the gaps and barriers towards influenza vaccination rates and in designing an effective influenza immunisation program in future.

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