This study was carried out to estimate the vaccination coverage, public perception, and preventive behaviors against pandemic influenza A (H1N1) and to understand the motivation and barriers to vaccination between high-risk and non–high-risk groups during the outbreak of pandemic influenza A (H1N1).
A cross-sectional nationwide telephone survey of 1,650 community-dwelling Korean adults aged 19 years and older was conducted in the later stage of the 2009–2010 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) outbreak. The questionnaire identified the demographics, vaccination status of participants and all household members, barriers to non-vaccination, perceived threat, and preventive behaviors. In Korea, the overall rate of pandemic influenza vaccination coverage in the surveyed population was 15.5%; vaccination coverage in the high-risk group and non–high-risk group was 47.3% and 8.0%, respectively. In the high-risk group, the most important triggering event for vaccination was receiving a notice from a public health organization. In the non–high-risk group, vaccination was more strongly influenced by previous experience with influenza or mass media campaigns. In both groups, the most common reasons for not receiving vaccination was that their health was sufficient to forgo the vaccination, and lack of time. There was no significant difference in how either group perceived the threat or adopted preventive behavior. The predictive factors for pandemic influenza vaccination were being elderly (age ≥65 years), prior seasonal influenza vaccination, and chronic medical disease.
With the exception of vaccination coverage, the preventive behaviors of the high-risk group were not different from those of the non–high-risk group during the 2009–2010 pandemic. For future pandemic preparedness planning, it is crucial to reinforce preventive behaviors to avoid illness before vaccination and to increase vaccination coverage in the high-risk group.