Influenza immunization of healthcare workers in a paediatric hospital: getting to 73% vaccination coverage

Abstract number: 1133_241

Engels O., Doyen M., Goldman N., Vergison A.


In winter 2002, influenza immunization was offered to the healthcare workers (HCWs) of our hospital. Since then, the infection control team performed vaccination campaigns: seminars, posters, and face to face discussions. These campaigns targeted mainly at patients protection. Two problems were faced : 1) the trade unions saw these campaigns as a harassment of HCWs. 2) occupational medicine doctors were not convinced of the need of influenza immunization for HCWs.

Objectives: Immunization rates reached 48 % in 2002 and 47% in 2003. In order to improve our next campaign, we wanted to know why the HCWs were accepting or refusing the vaccine and to evaluate the impact of infection control team interventions.


From June to August 2004 we addressed an anonymous questionnaire to the HCWs of our 170-beds pediatric hospital. The questionnaires were distributed in the different departments via the responsible doctor, nurse, paramedics and administrative staff.


The answer rate was 44% (260/594). 48% of the answering persons received the influenza vaccine in 2002 and 59% in 2003. The immunization rates during these two vaccination campaigns were 84%, 60%, 44% and 18% for doctors, nurses, paramedics and administrative staff respectively. 32% of the HCWs had their decision influenced by the infection control practitionners. The face to face discussions were the most important for 48% of HCWs. Protection of both themselves and the patients was the main reason of immunization for 69% of HCWs. The main reasons for refusal in 2003 were feeling of good health (49%), not being convinced by the vaccine efficacy (35%), fear of adverse events evoked by the media (17%) and reactions to previous vaccination (8%). After getting the results of this audit, we targeted the next campaign towards patients and self-protection, insisted on vaccine efficacy and safety and provided a feedback showing a reduction of nosocomial influenza since vaccination. In 2004, the immunization rate obtained was 73% in mid-november.


Infection control practitionners’ vaccination campaigns allowed to reach a good immunization rate among our HCWs. Most HCWs do get vaccinated for both self protection and patients protection. Face to face discussions were important to convince HCWs about vaccine efficacy and safety. Vaccination coverage was highest in doctors and lowest in administrative staff.

Session Details

Date: 01/08/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: XXIst ISTH Congress
Location: Oxford, UK
Presentation type:
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