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Infectious Diseases - Non-Clinical Medicine - Science Policy

Fighting Misconceptions to Improve Compliance with Influenza Vaccination among Health Care Workers: An Educational Project
Published: Monday, February 06, 2012
Author: Carla R. Couto et al.

by Carla R. Couto, Cláudio S. Pannuti, José P. Paz, Maria C. D. Fink, Alessandra A. Machado, Michela de Marchi, Clarisse M. Machado

The compliance with influenza vaccination is poor among health care workers (HCWs) due to misconceptions about safety and effectiveness of influenza vaccine. We proposed an educational prospective study to demonstrate to HCWs that influenza vaccine is safe and that other respiratory viruses (RV) are the cause of respiratory symptoms in the months following influenza vaccination. 398 HCWs were surveyed for adverse events (AE) occurring within 48 h of vaccination. AE were reported by 30% of the HCWs. No severe AE was observed. A subset of 337 HCWs was followed up during four months, twice a week, for the detection of respiratory symptoms. RV was diagnosed by direct immunofluorescent assay (DFA) and real time PCR in symptomatic HCWs. Influenza A was detected in five episodes of respiratory symptoms (5.3%) and other RV in 26 (27.9%) episodes. The incidence density of influenza and other RV was 4.3 and 10.8 episodes per 100 HCW-month, respectively. The educational nature of the present study may persuade HCWs to develop a more positive attitude to influenza vaccination.