Better knowledge and regular vaccination practices correlate well with higher seasonal influenza vaccine uptake in people at risk: Promising survey results from a university outpatient clinic

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Abstract

Background:

The knowledge, beliefs, opinions, and attitudes of patients and their relatives regarding seasonal influenza vaccination were evaluated.

Methods:

This descriptive study was undertaken in the outpatient clinics of Baskent University Hospital. There were 566 responders who completed a self-administered questionnaire.

Results:

The mean age of participants was 48.35 years, and 16.8% were ≥65 years. Of the responders, 21.7% were vaccinated this year, whereas 57.8% did not desire to get it. Vaccination rates were significantly higher among responders ≥65 years of age (56.4%), those having at least 1 chronic illness (46.5%), and those who were vaccinated regularly every year (22.2%). Half of the responders did not know that the vaccine was reimbursed for people at risk. The most common reason for refusing the influenza vaccine was not getting the flu frequently (51.2%). Fear of side effects, concerns about vaccine's effectiveness, and belief that vaccine causes the flu were other common reasons for not being vaccinated. Of the responders, 77% believed that getting official information or a recommendation from a physician would influence their decision about seasonal influenza vaccination.

Conclusions:

People who are at risk or vaccinated regularly display a higher vaccine uptake and better knowledge of influenza and vaccination. The opinions and attitudes of this study population may assist in developing strategies for changing attitudes of the public toward influenza vaccination.

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