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Influenza immunization; vaccine offer, request and uptake in high-risk patients during the 1991/2 season

  • J. S. Nguyen-Van-Tam (a1) and K. G. Nicholson (a2)

Summary

Current levels of influenza vaccine uptake in patients considered to be at high risk have been determined by means of a questionnaire survey. During March–April 1992, information was sought from 624 patients in Leicestershire, UK with either chronic cardiovascular or respiratory disease, or diabetes; questions related to current health status and the request, offer and receipt of influenza vaccine in the current and three previous seasons. Ninety-eight percent of all offers of immunization were made in the primary care setting, and vaccine was well tolerated as judged by the fact that 86% of vaccinees between 1988/9–1990/1 returned for immunization in the following year. However in the 1991/2 season the overall level of vaccine uptake was only about 41% which is at variance with the stated policies and practices of general practitioners. Opportunities were missed, in both hospitals and general practices, to publicise and offer immunization to individuals with vaccine indications. Future attempts to improve vaccine uptake should focus on increasing the role of hospital staff in influenza prevention, in addition to promoting better vaccine delivery through primary care.

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References

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