Influenza vaccination for healthcare workers

Posted on 16 November 2017

A new paper by researchers at CRD and the EPPI-Centre, University College London looks at experiences and perceptions of influenza vaccination for healthcare workers.

The Department of Health commissioned this project through the Policy Reviews Facility to inform the development of policy in England. Although seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for healthcare workers who provide direct patient care, many choose not to be vaccinated. Different programmes have been implemented to increase vaccination rates, with mixed results.

The paper reports a systematic review of qualitative studies. It finds that healthcare workers may choose not to be vaccinated for many reasons. For example, because they are not worried about getting influenza or they do not believe the vaccine is effective. They also have reservations about coercive or mandatory policies. The findings suggest that programmes to promote vaccination need to take into account healthcare workers’ relationships with patients and with management, rather than just addressing them as individuals.

The paper is published in BMC Health Services Research and can be accessed here.