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Attitudes towards influenza and uptake of the flu vaccine: A survey of pharmacy staff working in English hospitals
journal contributionposted on 30.04.2021, 09:25 by Ryan A Hamilton, Eva Krockow, Priya Vekria
Pharmacy staff working in hospitals are at risk of contracting and disseminating influenza. Previous research focuses on community pharmacists’ attitudes towards influenza and vaccination. This survey investigates the beliefs and attitudes of pharmacists and other pharmacy staff working in English Hospitals regarding influenza and the vaccine and how this relates to vaccine uptake.
A self-administered survey was provided to pharmacy staff at three hospitals in the East Midlands of England. Job role, age and vaccination status (vaccinated, intended to be vaccinated, and not vaccinated) were collected alongside ratings of agreement with 20 statements regarding influenza and vaccination using a Likert scale.
170 pharmacy staff responded; 50.6% had been vaccinated, 17.1% intended to be vaccinated and 32.4% were not vaccinated. Increasing age showed a significant (p = 0.017) positive correlation with increased vaccine uptake as did the beliefs that vaccination protects the individual from influenza (p = 0.049) and that vaccination should be mandatory for NHS staff (p = 0.006). Fear of needles and believing their immune system is strong enough to protect against influenza were negatively correlated with vaccine uptake (p = 0.016 and p = 0.010, respectively). Job role was also strongly correlated with vaccine uptake (p = 0.001), with those holding a pharmacy degree more likely to report being vaccinated or intending to be vaccinated compared to all other pharmacy staff groups.
This is the first survey to focus on vaccine behaviours of all pharmacy staff groups working in hospitals. Current uptake of the influenza vaccine may be increased through engagement of senior pharmacy colleagues and providing education on influenza, vaccines, and vaccination. Similar studies should be undertaken on a larger scale to fully interrogate the differences between pharmacy staff groups.