Reactogenicity of trivalent influenza vaccine prepared for the 1988-89 season was assessed as part of a first-time voluntary influenza prevention program among hospital staff. Of approximately 500 full-time workers in areas with the highest concentrations of patients at high risk for influenza complications offered the vaccine 288 accepted. Of these, 266 (92%) returned a questionnaire regarding any symptoms experienced within 48 hours after vaccination; 238 (90%) of the respondents reported adverse effects. Soreness at the injection site was described by 229 subjects, 58 (25%) of whom had constant aching and 123 (54%) soreness with arm movement. Symptoms resolved in 1 to 2 days, and only 21 (9%) of those who reported symptoms said they took analgesic medication. Systemic adverse effects were described by 130 subjects (49%). Intercurrent illness accounted for some of these complaints, but 65 people (24%) described at least two of the following symptoms: generalized aching, tiredness, nausea, chills or onset of fever within 12 hours after vaccination (a symptom complex previously attributed to influenza vaccine). Systemic symptoms resolved within 0.5 to 2 days. Thirteen subjects (5%) reported missing work because of arm soreness (1 subject) or systemic symptoms (12). Adverse effects were encountered more often than expected, probably because most of the workers were young and lacked immunity to influenza. Acceptability of the program could likely be improved by using a split-virus vaccine.
This study retrospectively reviewed the effectiveness of a vaccination program for hospital workers in a large tertiary care hospital, quantified influenza-induced absenteeism, and examined the factors determining the costs and benefits of this program. Absenteeism among high risk hospital workers was increased by 35% (P=0.001) during the virulent influenza epidemic of 1987–88. Benefits, measured as the value of sick time avoided, compared with costs, including materials, occupational nursing staff time, employee time during vaccination, and time lost due to adverse reactions, revealed a net benefit of $39.23 per vaccinated employee. Sensitivity analyses highlighted vaccine efficacy and absenteeism due to influenza and adverse reactions to vaccination as the most important factors; with time lost due to adverse reactions as much as 0.013 days per vaccinated employee and a vaccine efficacy of 70%, net positive benefits could be achieved if influenza-induced absenteeism is 0.5% or greater of paid employee time during the epidemic season. The results suggested that the net cost-benefit of a hospital employee vaccination program to decrease both employee morbidity and nosocomial influenza among patients, would be increased by active promotion of the vaccination program, especially for employees in high risk areas.
Cost-benefit; Hospital workers; Influenza vaccine
Objectives. The national influenza vaccination rate among healthcare workers (HCWs) remains low despite clear benefits to patients, coworkers, and families. We sought to evaluate formally the effect of a one-hour time off incentive on attitudes towards influenza vaccination during the 2011-2012 influenza season. Methods. All HCWs at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center were invited to complete an anonymous web-based survey. We described respondents' characteristics and attitudes toward influenza vaccination and determined the relationship of specific attitudes with respondents' acceptance of influenza vaccination, using a 5-point Likert scale. Results. We analyzed survey responses from 154 HCWs employed at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, with a response rate of 8%. Among 121 respondents who reported receiving influenza vaccination, 34 (28%, 95% CI 20–37%) reported agreement with the statement that the time off incentive made a difference in their decision to accept influenza vaccination. Conclusions. Our study provides evidence that modest incentives such as one-hour paid time off will be unlikely to promote influenza vaccination rates within medical facilities. More potent interventions that include mandatory vaccination combined with penalties for noncompliance will likely provide the only means to achieve near-universal influenza vaccination among HCWs.
Teachers, like healthcare workers, may be a strategic target for influenza immunization programs. Influenza vaccination is critical to protect both teachers and the students they come into contact with. This study assessed factors associated with seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccine uptake among middle- and high-school teachers.
Seventy-eight percent of teachers who planned to receive seasonal influenza vaccine and 36% of those who planned to receive H1N1 influenza vaccine at baseline reported that they did so. Seasonal vaccine uptake was significantly associated with perceived severity (odds ratio [OR] 1.57, p = 0.05) and self-efficacy (OR 4.46, p = 0.006). H1N1 vaccine uptake was associated with perceived barriers (OR 0.7, p = 0.014) and social norms (OR 1.39, p = 0.05). The number one reason for both seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccine uptake was to avoid getting seasonal/H1N1 influenza disease. The number one reason for seasonal influenza vaccine refusal was a concern it would make them sick and for H1N1 influenza vaccine refusal was concern about vaccine side effects.
Participants were recruited from two counties in rural Georgia. Data were collected from surveys in September 2009 and May 2010. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the association between teachers' attitudes toward seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccination and vaccine uptake.
There is a strong association between the intention to be vaccinated against influenza (seasonal or 2009 H1N1) and actual vaccination uptake. Understanding and addressing factors associated with teachers' influenza vaccine uptake may enhance future influenza immunization efforts.
adolescents; teachers; H1N1 influenza; seasonal influenza; vaccination; health belief model; attitudes
The goal of influenza vaccination programs is to reduce influenza-associated disease outcomes. Therefore, estimating the reduced burden of influenza as a result of vaccination over time and by age group would allow for a clear understanding of the value of influenza vaccines in the US, and of areas where improvements could lead to greatest benefits.
To estimate the direct effect of influenza vaccination in the US in terms of averted number of cases, medically-attended cases, and hospitalizations over six recent influenza seasons.
Using existing surveillance data, we present a method for assessing the impact of influenza vaccination where impact is defined as either the number of averted outcomes or as the prevented disease fraction (the number of cases estimated to have been averted relative to the number of cases that would have occurred in the absence of vaccination).
We estimated that during our 6-year study period, the number of influenza illnesses averted by vaccination ranged from a low of approximately 1.1 million (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.6–1.7 million) during the 2006–2007 season to a high of 5 million (CI 2.9–8.6 million) during the 2010–2011 season while the number of averted hospitalizations ranged from a low of 7,700 (CI 3,700–14,100) in 2009–2010 to a high of 40,400 (CI 20,800–73,000) in 2010–2011. Prevented fractions varied across age groups and over time. The highest prevented fraction in the study period was observed in 2010–2011, reflecting the post-pandemic expansion of vaccination coverage.
Influenza vaccination programs in the US produce a substantial health benefit in terms of averted cases, clinic visits and hospitalizations. Our results underscore the potential for additional disease prevention through increased vaccination coverage, particularly among nonelderly adults, and increased vaccine effectiveness, particularly among the elderly.
Three main categories of persons are targeted by the French influenza vaccination strategy: all persons aged 65 years or over, those aged less than 65 years with certain underlying medical conditions and health care workers. The main objective of this study was to estimate rates of influenza immunization in these target groups attending a medical consultation for two consecutive influenza seasons: 2009–2010 (seasonal and pandemic vaccines) and 2010–2011 (seasonal vaccine).
A standardized questionnaire was mailed to 1323 general practitioners (GPs) of the Sentinelles Network, collecting data on all patients seen on a randomly assigned day. For every patient, following information was collected: age, gender, BMI, presence of any medical condition that increases risk of severe influenza illness, and vaccination status for the three vaccines mentioned.
Two hundred and three GPs agreed to participate and included 4248 patients. Overall, in persons with high risk of severe influenza, the estimated vaccine coverages (VC) were 60%, (95% CI = 57%; 62%) for the seasonal vaccine in 2010–2011, 61% (59%; 63%) for the seasonal vaccine in 2009–2010 and 23% (21%; 25%), for the pandemic vaccine in 2009–2010. Among people aged 65 years and over (N=1259, 30%) VC was estimated for seasonal vaccines at 72% (70%; 75%) in 2010–2011 and 73% (71%; 76%) in 2009–2010, and 24% (22%; 26%) for the pandemic vaccine. The lowest seasonal VC were observed in younger persons (<65 years) with underlying medical conditions, in particular pregnant women (<10%) and overweight persons (<30%).
Our study shows that influenza vaccination coverage among patients of the French Sentinelles general practitioners remains largely below the target of 75% defined by the 2004 French Public Health Law, and underscores the need for the implementation of public health interventions likely to increase vaccination uptake.
Vaccination; Influenza; General practitioners; Sentinelles network; Pregnancy; Obesity
The emergence of a new influenza A virus (H1N1) variant in 2009 led to a worldwide vaccination program, which was prepared in a relatively short period of time. This study investigated the humoral immunity against this virus before and after vaccination with a 2009 influenza A virus (H1N1) monovalent MF59-adjuvanted vaccine, as well as the persistence of vaccine-induced antibodies. Our prospective longitudinal study included 498 health care workers (mean age, 43 years; median age, 44 years). Most (89%) had never or only occasionally received a seasonal influenza virus vaccine, and 11% were vaccinated annually (on average, for >10 years). Antibody titers were determined by a hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay at baseline, 3 weeks after the first vaccination, and 5 weeks and 7 months after the second vaccination. Four hundred thirty-five persons received two doses of the 2009 vaccine. After the first dose, 79.5% developed a HI titer of ≥40. This percentage increased to 83.3% after the second dose. Persistent antibodies were found in 71.9% of the group that had not received annual vaccinations and in 43.8% of the group that had received annual vaccinations. The latter group tended to have lower HI titers (P=0.09). With increasing age, HI titers decreased significantly, by 2.4% per year. A single dose of the 2009 vaccine was immunogenic in almost 80% of the study population, whereas an additional dose resulted in significantly increased titers only in persons over 50. Finally, a reduced HI antibody response against the 2009 vaccine was found in adults who had previously received seasonal influenza virus vaccination. More studies on the effect of yearly seasonal influenza virus vaccination on the immune response are warranted.
Influenza vaccination coverage in medical students is usually low. Unlike health care workers, there is little information on the attitudes to and predictors of vaccination among medical students, and their attitudes towards institutional strategies for improving rates are unknown.
This cross-sectional study evaluated the effect of three influenza vaccination promotional strategies (Web page, video and tri-fold brochure) on medical students’ intention to get vaccinated and associated factors. A total of 538 medical students were asked to answer an anonymous questionnaire assessing the intention to get vaccinated after exposure to any of the promotional strategies. Sociodemographic data collected included: sex, age, university year, influenza risk group and cohabiting with member of a risk group.
Four hundred twenty-one students answered the questionnaire, of whom 312 (74.1%) were female, 113 (26.8%) had done clinical rotations, and 111 (26.6%) reported intention to get the flu shot. Logistic regression showed the web group had a greater intention to get vaccinated than the reference group (OR: 2.42 95% CI: 1.16-5.03). Having done clinical rotations (OR: 2.55 95% CI: 1.36-4.38) and having received the shot in previous flu seasons (OR: 13.69 95% CI: 7.86-23.96) were independently associated with the intention to get vaccinated.
Given that previous vaccination is a factor associated with the intention to get vaccinated, education on vaccination of health care workers should begin while they are students, thereby potentiating the habit. In addition, the intention to get vaccinated was greater during the clinical phase of the university career, suggesting this is a good time to introduce promotion strategies. Online promotional campaigns, such as a thematic Web to promote vaccination of health workers, could improve the intention to get vaccinated.
Medical students; Vaccination; Influenza; Web 2.0; Strategies
Population aging raises concerns regarding the increases in the rates of morbidity and mortality that result from influenza and its complications. Although vaccination is the most important tool for preventing influenza, vaccination program among high-risk groups has not reached its predetermined aims in several settings. This study aimed to evaluate the impacts of clinical and demographic factors on vaccine compliance among the elderly in a setting that includes a well-established annual national influenza vaccination campaign.
This cross-sectional study included 134 elderly patients who were regularly followed in an academic medical institution and who were evaluated for their influenza vaccination uptake within the last five years; in addition, the demographic and clinical characteristics and the reasons for compliance or noncompliance with the vaccination program were investigated.
In total, 67.1% of the participants received the seasonal influenza vaccine in 2009. Within this vaccination-compliant group, the most common reason for vaccine uptake was the annual nationwide campaign (52.2%; 95% CI: 41.4–62.9%); compared to the noncompliant group, a higher percentage of compliant patients had been advised by their physician to take the vaccine (58.9% vs. 34.1%; p<0.01).
The education of patients and health care professionals along with the implementation of immunization campaigns should be evaluated and considered by health authorities as essential for increasing the success rate of influenza vaccination compliance among the elderly.
Influenza immunization; Campaign; Medical recommendation; Adherence; Geriatric
The use of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine has generated much debate concerning safety issues among the general population and physicians. It was questioned if this is a safe vaccine. Therefore, we investigated the safety of an inactivated monovalent H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine
We focused on the H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine Pandemrix® and applied a self reporting questionnaire in a population of healthcare workers (HCWs) and medical students at a major university hospital.
In total, 4337 individuals were vaccinated, consisting of 3808 HCWs and 529 medical students. The vaccination rate of the employees was higher than 40%. The majority of individuals were vaccinated in November 2009. In total, 291 of the 4337 vaccinations were reported to lead to one or more adverse reactions (6.7%). Local reactions were reported in 3.8%, myalgia and arthralgia in 3.7%, fatigue in 3.7%, headache in 3.1%.
Our data together with available data from several national and international institutions points to a safe pandemic influenza vaccine.
adverse reaction; healthcare worker; immunization; novel H1N1 influenza
Influenza transmitted by health care workers (HCWs) is a potential threat to frail patients in acute health care settings. Therefore, immunizing HCWs against influenza should receive high priority. Despite recommendations of the World Health Organization, vaccine coverage of HCWs remains low in all European countries. This study explores the use of intervention strategies and methods to improve influenza vaccination rates among HCWs in an acute care setting.
The Intervention Mapping (IM) method was used to systematically develop and implement an intervention strategy aimed at changing influenza vaccination behaviour among HCWs in Dutch University Medical Centres (UMCs). Carried out during the influenza seasons 2009/2010 and 2010/2011, the interventions were then qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated by way of feedback from participating UMCs and the completion of a web-based staff questionnaire in the following spring of each season.
The IM method resulted in the development of a transparent influenza vaccination intervention implementation strategy. The intervention strategy was offered to six Dutch UMCs in a randomized in a clustered Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT), where three UMCs were chosen for intervention, and three UMCs acted as controls. A further two UMCs elected to have the intervention. The qualitative process evaluation showed that HCWs at four of the five intervention UMCs were responsive to the majority of the 11 relevant behavioural determinants resulting from the needs assessment in their intervention strategy compared with only one of three control UMCs. The quantitative evaluation among a sample of HCWs revealed that of all the developed communication materials, HCWs reported the posters as the most noticeable.
Our study demonstrates that it is possible to develop a structured implementation strategy for increasing the rate of influenza vaccination by HCWs in acute health care settings. The evaluation also showed that it is impossible to expose all HCWs to all intervention methods (which would have been the best case scenario). Further study is needed to (1) improve HCW exposure to intervention methods; (2) determine the effect of such interventions on vaccine uptake among HCWs; and (3) assess the impact on clinical outcomes among patients when such interventions are enacted.
Influenza vaccination; Health care workers; Intervention mapping; Intervention implementation; Acute health care
Standing orders programs (SOPs) allow non-physician medical staff to assess eligibility and administer vaccines without a specific physician's order. SOPs increase vaccination rates but are underutilized.
In 2009, correlates of SOPs use for influenza vaccine and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination (PPV) were assessed in a nationally representative, stratified random sample of U.S. physicians (n = 880) in family and internal medicine who provided office immunization. The response rate was 67%. Physicians reporting no SOPs, only influenza SOPs, and joint influenza and PPV SOPs were compared using multinomial and logistic regression models to examine individual and practice-level correlates.
23% reported using SOPs consistently for both influenza vaccine and PPV, and 20% for influenza vaccination only, with the remainder not using SOPs. Practice-level factors that distinguished practices with joint influenza-PPV SOPs included perceived practice openness to change, strong practice teamwork, access to an electronic medical record, presence of an immunization champion in the practice, and access to nurse/physician assistant staff as opposed to medical assistants alone.
Physicians in practices with SOPs for both vaccines reported greater awareness of ACIP recommendations and/or Medicare regulations and were more likely to agree that SOPs are an effective way to boost vaccination coverage. However, implementation of both influenza and PPV SOPs was also associated with a variety of practice-level factors, including teamwork, the presence of an immunization champion, and greater availability of clinical assistants with advanced training.
Practice-level factors are critical for the adoption of more complex SOPs, such as joint SOPs for influenza and PPV.
Adult immunizations; Influenza vaccine; Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine; Standing orders
The emergence of pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 has prompted public health responses, including production and licensure of new influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccines. Safety monitoring is a critical component of vaccination programs. As proof-of-concept, the authors mimicked near real-time prospective surveillance for prespecified neurologic and allergic adverse events among enrollees in 8 medical care organizations (the Vaccine Safety Datalink Project) who received seasonal trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine during the 2005/06–2007/08 influenza seasons. In self-controlled case series analysis, the risk of adverse events in a prespecified exposure period following vaccination was compared with the risk in 1 control period for the same individual either before or after vaccination. In difference-in-difference analysis, the relative risk in exposed versus control periods each season was compared with the relative risk in previous seasons since 2000/01. The authors used Poisson-based analysis to compare the risk of Guillian-Barré syndrome following vaccination in each season with that in previous seasons. Maximized sequential probability ratio tests were used to adjust for repeated analyses on weekly data. With administration of 1,195,552 doses to children under age 18 years and 4,773,956 doses to adults, no elevated risk of adverse events was identified. Near real-time surveillance for selected adverse events can be implemented prospectively to rapidly assess seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine safety.
cohort studies; influenza, human; influenza vaccines; managed care programs; population surveillance; safety; vaccines
There was a low adherence to influenza A (H1N1) vaccination program among university students and health care workers during the pandemic influenza in many parts of the world. Vaccination of high risk individuals is one of the recommendations of World Health Organization during the post-pandemic period. It is not documented about the student's knowledge, attitude and willingness to accept H1N1 vaccination during the post-pandemic period. We aimed to analyze the student's knowledge, attitude and willingness to accept H1N1 vaccination during the post-pandemic period in India.
Vaccine against H1N1 was made available to the students of Vellore Institute of Technology, India from September 2010. The data are based on a cross-sectional study conducted during October 2010 to January 2011 using a self-administered questionnaire with a representative sample of the student population (N = 802).
Of the 802 respondents, only 102/802 (12.7%) had been vaccinated and 105/802 (13%) planned to do so in the future, while 595/802 (74%) would probably or definitely not get vaccinated in the future. The highest coverage was among the female (65/102, 63.7%) and non-compliance was higher among men in the group (384/595; 64.5%) (p < 0.0001). The representation of students from school of Bio-sciences and Bio-technology among vaccinees is significantly higher than that of other schools. Majority of the study population from the three groups perceived vaccine against H1N1 as the effective preventive measure when compared to other preventive measures. 250/595 (42%) of the responders argued of not being in the risk group. The risk perception was significantly higher among female (p < 0.0001). With in the study group, 453/802 (56.4%) said that they got the information, mostly from media.
Our study shows that the vaccination coverage among university students remains very low in the post-pandemic period and doubts about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are key elements in their rejection. Our results indicate a need to provide accessible information about the vaccine safety by scientific authorities and fill gaps and confusions in this regard.
H1N1; Vaccination; Vaccine acceptance; Assessment
In the United States, all children sic months through 18 years of age are recommended to be vaccinated against influenza annually. However, the existing pediatric immunization infrastructure does not have the capacity to vaccinate a high proportion of children each year. School-located influenza vaccination (SLIV) programs provide an opportunity to immunize large numbers of school-age children. We reviewed the medical literature in order to document the current US experience to benefit future SLIV programs. Published reports or abstracts for 36 SLIV programs were identified, some of which spanned multiple years. The programs immunized between 70–128,228 students. While most programs vaccinated 40–50% of students, coverage ranged from 7–73%. Higher percentages of elementary students were vaccinated compared with middle and high school students. While many programs offered only intranasal vaccine, several programs have successfully used both the intranasal and injectable vaccines. Faculty and staff were immunized in some programs and uptake in this group varied considerably. Students were vaccinated quickly during school hours. Costs, where reported, ranged from approximately $20–27 per dose delivered, including both vaccine and administration costs. The greatest need for future US SLIV program implementation is the development of a financially sustainable model that can be replicated annually on a national scale.
school-located influenza vaccination; live attenuated influenza vaccine; trivalent inactivated vaccine; SLIV; influenza
The population's views concerning influenza vaccine are important in maintaining high uptake of a vaccine that is required yearly to be effective. Little is also known about the views of the more vulnerable older population over the age of 74 years.
A cross-sectional survey of community dwelling people aged 75 years and over wh, previous participant was conducted using a postal questionnaire. Responses were analysed by vaccine uptake records and by socio-demographic and medical factors.
85% of men and 75% of women were vaccinated against influenza in the previous year. Over 80% reported being influenced by a recommendation by a health care worker. The most common reason reported for non uptake was good health (44%), or illness considered to be due to the vaccine (25%). An exploration of the crude associations with socio-economic status suggested there may be some differences in the population with these two main reasons. 81% of people reporting good health lived in owner occupied housing with central heating vs. 63% who did not state this as a reason (p = 0.04), whereas people reporting ill health due to the vaccine was associated with poorer social circumstances. 11% lived in the least deprived neighbourhood compared to 36% who did not state this as a reason (p = 0.05) and were less likely to be currently married than those who did not state this as a reason (25% vs 48% p = 0.05).
Vaccine uptake was high, but non uptake was still noted in 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men aged over 74 years. Around 70% reported they would not have the vaccine in the following year. The divergent reasons for non-uptake, and the positive influence from a health care worker, suggests further uptake will require education and encouragement from a health care worker tailored towards the different views for not having influenza vaccination. Non-uptake of influenza vaccine because people viewed themselves as in good health may explain the modest socio-economic differentials in influenza vaccine uptake in elderly people noted elsewhere. Reporting of ill-health due to the vaccine may be associated with a different, poorer background.
The objectives of the survey were to identify the level of influenza vaccination coverage in China in three influenza seasons 2009/10 to 2011/12, and to find out potential predictors for seasonal influenza vaccination.
In September and October 2011, representative urban household telephone surveys were conducted in five provinces in China with a response rate of 6%. Four target groups were defined for analysis: 1) children ≤5 years old; 2) elderly persons aged ≥60 years old; 3) health care workers (persons working in the medical field) and 4) chronically ill persons.
The overall mean vaccination rate was 9.0%. Among the four target groups, the rate of vaccination of children aged ≤5 years old (mean = 26%) was highest and the rate of elderly people aged ≥60 years old (mean = 7.4%) was the lowest, while the rates of persons who suffer from a chronic illness (mean = 9.4%) and health care workers (9.5%) were similar. A subsidy for influenza vaccination, age group, health care workers, suffering from a chronic illness and living in Eastern China were independent significant predictors for influenza vaccination.
The seasonal influenza vaccination coverage rates among urban populations in selected cities and provinces in China were far below previously reported rates in developed countries. Influenza vaccination coverage rates differed widely between different target groups and provinces in China. Subsidy policy might have a positive effect on influenza vaccination rate, but further cost-effectiveness studies, as well as the vaccination rate associated factors studies are still needed to inform strategies to increase coverage.
Pertussis, an acute respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis, classically manifests as a protracted cough illness. The incidence of pertussis in the United States has been increasing in recent years. Immunity wanes after childhood vaccination, leaving adolescents and adults susceptible to infection. The transmission of pertussis in health care settings has important medical and economic consequences. Acellular pertussis booster vaccines are now available for use and have been recommended for all adolescents and adults. These vaccines are safe, immunogenic, and effective. Health care workers are a priority group for vaccination because of their increased risk of acquiring infection and the potential to transmit pertussis to high-risk patients. Health care worker vaccination programs are likely to be cost-effective, but further research is needed to determine the acceptability of pertussis vaccines among health care workers, the duration of immunity after booster doses, and the impact of vaccination on the management of pertussis exposures in health care settings.
Apart from direct protection and reduced productivity loss during epidemics, the main reason to immunize healthcare workers (HCWs) against influenza is to provide indirect protection of frail patients through reduced transmission in healthcare settings. Because the vaccine uptake among HCWs remains far below the health objectives, systematic programs are needed to take full advantage of such vaccination. In an earlier report, we showed a mean 9% increase of vaccine uptake among HCWs in nursing homes that implemented a systematic program compared with control homes, with higher rates in those homes that implemented more program elements. Here, we report in detail the process of the development of the implementation program to enable researchers and practitioners to develop intervention programs tailored to their setting.
We applied the intervention mapping (IM) method to develop a theory- and evidence-based intervention program to change vaccination behaviour among HCWs in nursing homes.
After a comprehensive needs assessment, we were able to specify proximal program objectives and selected methods and strategies for inducing behavioural change. By consensus, we decided on planning of three main program components, i.e., an outreach visit to all nursing homes, plenary information meetings, and the appointment of a program coordinator -- preferably a physician -- in each home. Finally, we planned program adoption, implementation, and evaluation.
The IM methodology resulted in a systematic, comprehensive, and transparent procedure of program development. A potentially effective intervention program to change influenza vaccination behaviour among HCWs was developed, and its impact was assessed in a clustered randomised controlled trial.
The influenza vaccination rate in hospitals among health care workers in Europe remains low. As there is a lack of research about management factors we assessed factors reported by administrators of general hospitals that are associated with the influenza vaccine uptake among health care workers.
All 81 general hospitals in the Netherlands were approached to participate in a self-administered questionnaire study. The questionnaire was directed at the hospital administrators. The following factors were addressed: beliefs about the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine, whether the hospital had a written policy on influenza vaccination and how the hospital informed their staff about influenza vaccination. The questionnaire also included questions about mandatory vaccination, whether it was free of charge and how delivered as well as the vaccination campaign costs. The outcome of this one-season survey is the self-reported overall influenza vaccination rate of health care workers.
In all, 79 of 81 hospitals that were approached were willing to participate and therefore received a questionnaire. Of these, 42 were returned (response rate 52%). Overall influenza vaccination rate among health care workers in our sample was 17.7% (95% confidence interval: 14.6% to 20.8%). Hospitals in which the administrators agreed with positive statements concerning the influenza vaccination had a slightly higher, but non-significant, vaccine uptake. There was a 9% higher vaccine uptake in hospitals that spent more than €1250,- on the vaccination campaign (24.0% versus 15.0%; 95% confidence interval from 0.7% to 17.3%).
Agreement with positive statements about management factors with regard to influenza vaccination were not associated with the uptake. More economic investments were related with a higher vaccine uptake; the reasons for this should be explored further.
Health care workers; Influenza vaccination; General hospital; Management
To help resolve the conflicting demands of primary and secondary care in hospital medical clinics, a program was developed whereby, with the physicians' agreement, nurses would select and vaccinate clinic patients eligible for influenza vaccination. In a controlled trial the nurses offered vaccination to half of the eligible patients attending morning sessions and vaccinated 35% of them. In contrast, physicians in the afternoon sessions, who were unaware of the program, vaccinated only 2% of similar patients. These results show that, although these physicians agree with guidelines for influenza vaccination, they are not currently providing the service. The use of nursing personnel to provide this and other types of primary medical care for clinic patients is a reasonable alternative.
Background. Pandemic influenza vaccination rate amongst healthcare workers in England 2009/2010 was suboptimal (40.3%). Targeting medical students before they enter the healthcare workforce is an attractive future option. This study assessed the H1N1 vaccine uptake rate amongst medical students and factors that influenced this. Methods. Anonymised, self-administered questionnaire at a medical school. Results. The uptake rate amongst 126 medical students offered the vaccine was 49.2% and intended uptake amongst 77 students was 63.6%. Amongst those offered the vaccine, the strongest barriers to acceptance were fear of side effects (67.9%), lack of vaccine information (50.9%), lack of perceived risk (45.3%), and inconvenience (35.8%). Having a chronic illness (OR 3.4 (95% CI 1.2–10.2)), 4th/5th year of study (OR 3.0 (95% CI 1.3–7.1)), and correct H1N1 knowledge (OR 2.6 (95% CI 1.1–6.0)) were positively associated with uptake. Non-white ethnicity was an independent negative predictor of uptake (OR 0.4 (95% CI 0.2–0.8)). Students who accepted the H1N1 vaccine were three times more likely (OR 3.1 (95% CI 1.2–7.7)) to accept future seasonal influenza vaccination. Conclusion. Efforts to increase uptake should focus on routine introduction of influenza vaccine and creating a culture of uptake during medical school years, evidence-based education on vaccination, and improving vaccine delivery.
Concerns have been raised about how the transmission of emerging infectious diseases from patients to healthcare workers (HCWs) and vice versa could be recognized and prevented in a timely manner. An effective strategy to block transmission of pandemic H1N1 (2009) influenza in HCWs is important.
An infection control program was implemented to survey and prevent nosocomial outbreaks of H1N1 (2009) influenza at a 2,600-bed, tertiary-care academic hospital. In total, 4,963 employees at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital recorded their temperature and received online education on control practices for influenza infections. Administration records provided vaccination records and occupational characteristics of all HCWs. Early recognition of a pandemic H1N1 (2009) influenza case was followed by a semi-structured questionnaire to analyze possible routes of patient contact, household contact, or unspecified contact. Surveillance spanned August 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010; 51 HCWs were confirmed to have novel H1N1 (2009) influenza by quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Prevalence of patient contact, household contact, or unspecified contact infection was 13.7% (7/51), 13.7% (7/51), and 72.5% (37/51), respectively. The prevalence of the novel H1N1 infection was significantly lower among vaccinated HCWs than among unvaccinated HCWs (p<0.001). Higher viral loads in throat swabs were found in HCWs with patient and household contact infection than in those with unspecified contact infection (4.15 vs. 3.53 copies/mL, log10, p = 0.035).
A surveillance system with daily temperature recordings and online education for HCWs is important for a low attack rate of H1N1 (2009) influenza transmission before H1N1 (2009) influenza vaccination is available, and the attack rate is further decreased after mass vaccination. Unspecified contact infection rates were significantly higher than that of patient contact and household contact infection, highlighting the need for public education of influenza transmission in addition to hospital infection control.
Of 323 healthcare epidemiology professionals surveyed during the H1N1 crisis, 30.7% reported shortages of antiviral medication and 39.0% reported stockpiling of antiviral medications. Vaccine development, healthcare worker education, revisions of pandemic plans, and mandatory influenza vaccination were identified as important future initiatives.
The emergence of H1N1 influenza is cause for great concern. Although one of the most important components of the response to the H1N1 crisis is the work of healthcare epidemiology professionals, the beliefs and experiences of this community are unknown and the optimal approach to managing H1N1 in the future has not been delineated.
To assess attitudes and responses of healthcare epidemiology professionals to the H1N1 influenza crisis, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. We assessed beliefs regarding: 1) importance of H1N1; 2) institutional preparedness; 3) time spent on the H1N1 crisis; and 4) the institution’s response to H1N1.
Of 323 respondents, 195 (60.4%) reported their hospitals were well prepared for a pandemic. Furthermore, the majority reported that senior administrators provided adequate political support and resources (85.1% and 80.2%, respectively) to respond to H1N1. However, 163 (50.9%) respondents reported other important infection prevention activities were neglected during the H1N1 crisis. Shortages of antiviral medication were reported by 99 (30.7%) respondents. Furthermore, 126 (39.0%) reported that personal stockpiling of antiviral medications occurred at their institution and 166 (51.4%) reported institutional actions were initiated to prevent personal stockpiling. Also, 294 (91.0%) respondents believed H1N1 influenza would reappear later this year. Vaccine development, healthcare worker education, and revisions of pandemic influenza plans were identified as the most important future initiatives. Finally, 251 (77.7%) respondents felt healthcare workers should be mandated to receive influenza vaccine.
While generally well-prepared for the H1N1 crisis, substantial revisions of pandemic preparedness plans appear necessary. Future efforts to optimize the response to H1N1 should include curtailing personal stockpiling of antivirals and vaccine development with consideration of mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers.
H1N1; influenza; Survey; epidemiology
An influenza A outbreak involving 17 health care workers (HCWs) and 16 chronic geriatric patients on a ward in a tertiary care hospital was reviewed. Thirty-seven per cent of all HCWs and 47% of patients on the affected wards became ill with influenza. Three patients died during the outbreak. The majority of health care workers became ill prior to detecting the first patient case of influenza, suggesting that nosocomial spread from HCWs to patients may have occurred. Only 13.7% of the staff and 5.9% of the patients had been vaccinated prior to the outbreak. Lost time due to HCW absenteeism, outbreak-related medication costs and additional staff time involved in outbreak control resulted in considerable cost to the hospital. It is suggested that much of this cost, as well as morbidity and possibly mortality, could have been avoided by increased immunization of HCWs and patients.
Cost; Health care worker; Influenza outbreak; Nosocomial transmission