Background: All healthcare personnel (HCP) should be up-to-date on influenza vaccinations to protect vulnerable patients and their own health, and to maintain the healthcare workforce during influenza outbreaks. However, in a typical year, overall only about 50% of HCP in the United States are vaccinated for influenza.
Objectives: We measured support for seasonal influenza vaccination requirements among HCP in the United States and its association with attitudes regarding influenza disease, attitudes regarding influenza vaccination, and coverage by existing influenza vaccination requirements.
Methods: From a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population, we used an existing probability-based online research panel as the sampling frame and surveyed 1,664 HCP (including 113 physicians, 447 nurses, 571 allied health professionals, 288 administrators, 245 non-clinical support and others) from June 1 through June 30, 2010. The main outcome of interest was support for seasonal influenza vaccination requirements for HCP. Our analysis employed proportional estimation and multivariable probit models.
Results: Of U.S. HCP surveyed, 11.1% were working in a place with requirements and 57.4% (95% CI: 53.3-61.5) agreed that HCP should be required to be vaccinated for seasonal influenza. Support for mandatory vaccination was statistically higher among HCP who were subject to existing influenza vaccination requirements (76.6% [95% CI: 61.1-92.2] reported support of requirements for vaccination), HCP who considered influenza as a serious disease (71.2% [95% CI: 6.2-76.1] of those who believed influenza was serious threat to their health supported requirements), and HCP who deemed influenza vaccine safe and effective (66.8% [95% CI: 62.6-70.9] supported requirements).
Conclusions: A majority of HCP surveyed support influenza vaccination requirements. Implementation of influenza vaccination requirements should use continuing education campaigns on the seriousness of the disease, usefulness of influenza prevention, and effectiveness and safety of the influenza vaccine.