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Seasonal Influenza vaccination; healthcare workers; Barriers
Background: Influenza vaccination uptake by Egyptian healthcare workers remains sub-optimal despite local initiatives and infection control programs to increase it. The aim was to assess vaccination coverage and investigate health care workers’ barriers and motivators toward seasonal influenza vaccination. Methods: An interview questionnaire survey and focus group sessions were conducted to measure uptake and assess barriers to seasonal influenza vaccination among HCWs in main hospitals and primary care centers in Ismailia. Results: There were 980 participants, of whom 131 (13.4%) reported having received influenza vaccination in last season 2018/2019. Females were 76.8% of participants, and nurses were the main occupational category of study sample (80.4%). The most commonly reported reason (97.7%) was "protecting myself and my family" among the vaccinated participants. And most important barriers among the non-vaccinated HCWs; was "not instructed to receive the vaccine" (73.2%). Predictors of non-vaccination included; the perception that the vaccine itself my induce influenza (OR: 1.9 p<0.05, CI, 1.3-2.8) and the belief that vaccination is ineffective (OR: 2.7 p<0.05, CI, 1.5-5.2), and lack of awareness about the vaccinations recommended (OR: 1.8 p<0.05, CI, 1.2-2.8). The top barriers ranked by their Relative Importance Index (RII), included lack of instruction by supervisors RII=0.82, lack of awareness about vaccine benefits RII= 0.79 and lack of awareness from where to get the vaccine RII=0.71. Conclusion: Addressing specific barriers to influenza vaccination uptake among healthcare workers may improve rate.
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