22829 Issues Associated with Immunization of Health Care Workers against 2009 Influenza A (H1N1)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010: 2:35 PM
Centennial Ballroom 1
Tanya Johnson, MPH , Health Communications Specialist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Background: Barriers and facilitators to acceptance of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine among pediatricians, other clinicians, and hospital workers were unknown.

Objectives: 1.    Explore the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs of healthcare workers regarding H1N1 disease and vaccine. 2.    Explore pediatric professionals’ likely use, and attitudes about recommending an H1N1 vaccine to patients, and requiring/recommending it to their employees. 3.    Explore responses to informational materials.

Methods: Interviews and focus groups were held with pediatricians, other clinicians, and hospital service workers. Sessions were held in Houston, TX; Chicago, IL; and San Francisco, CA in August 2009. A total of 178 respondents participated, including 28 pediatricians, 12 nurse practitioners, 88 clinicians, and 50 service workers. One of two versions of an H1N1 vaccine information document were given to each participant in this study.

Results: Pediatricians and clinicians perceived H1N1 influenza as a moderately serious disease, and service workers perceived it as somewhat more serious. Pediatricians reported being strong advocates for both seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. When reviewing one of the education materials, clinical and service workers raised different level of concerns on the information presented, particularly the use of thimerosal and the possible use of adjuvants in H1N1 vaccines. Clinicians and service workers reported limited interest in personally receiving the H1N1 vaccine. Changes in the prevalence or virulence of H1N1 disease could rapidly change perceptions of the value of the vaccine and the interest in receiving it.

Conclusions: The use of thimerosal and the possible use of adjuvants in H1N1 vaccines was a source of concern for each group of clinicians and service workers. The organization and content of the information presented caused notable differences in the perception of the information regarding thimerosal and adjuvant use. This presentation will provide a detailed assessment of the two document versions and the reactions to the material presented, and recommendations for future material development.