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Influenza Vaccination Among Healthcare Workers in a University Children's Hospital

  • Terhi Tapiainen (a1), Gurli Bär (a1), Urs B. Schaad (a1) and Ulrich Heininger (a1)

To evaluate the attitudes of pediatric healthcare workers (HCWs) toward influenza vaccination and to increase their rate of immunization.


A survey was conducted among pediatric HCWs using an anonymous questionnaire. Survey results were used to design an intervention to increase the immunization rate of staff. Immunization rates before (2003-2004) and after (2004-2005) intervention were assessed using immunization clinic records.


A university children's hospital in Switzerland.


(1) An informational letter based on misconceptions noted in the survey, (2) educational conversations with head nurses, (3) more “walk-in” immunization clinics, and (4) a direct offer of influenza immunization on the wards.


Among vaccine nonrecipients, doubts about the efficacy and necessity of influenza immunization were prevalent and more often reported by nurses than physicians (75% vs 41%, P = .002; and 55% vs 23%, P = .001, respectively). Physicians more often than nurses reported lack of time as a reason for not receiving influenza vaccination (23% vs 5%, P = .01). After intervention, the immunization rate of HCWs increased from 19% to 24% (P = .03). The immunization rate of physicians increased from 43% to 64% (P = .004). No change was noted among nurses (13% vs 14%) and other HCWs (16% vs 16%).


Misconceptions about influenza vaccination were prevalent among pediatric staff, particularly nurses. Active promotion and educational efforts were successful in increasing the immunization rate of physicians but not nurses and other HCWs.

Corresponding author
University Children's Hospital, PO Box, CH-4005 Basel,
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
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