Belief in vaccine effectiveness spurs vaccinations in medical workers

According to a study conducted by researchers in the Netherlands, a belief that the seasonal flu vaccine legitimately works is the most effective way to convince healthcare professionals to get vaccinated.

The effectiveness of the vaccine is a much better way to sway healthcare workers than telling them of the potential to protect at-risk patients from flu complications. The researchers evaluated 13 studies involving more than 85,000 healthcare workers to determine why healthcare systems have had trouble persuading front-line clinicians to receive the seasonal flu vaccine to stop the spread in patients, reports.

In the studies, which had been conducted in Australia, Europe and North America, the most persuasive factors were knowing the vaccine works, a willingness to prevent the virus' spread, a belief the virus is very contagious and that prevention is important, and having a family that is typically vaccinated. The factors all led to more than a two-fold increase in flu vaccine uptake, in addition to convenient access to the vaccine.

Factors that had little influence on the employees' decisions included willingness to protect patients or themselves from complications of flu, a prior bout of the flu, and being in contact with children or patients.

"Influenza vaccination will only be successful in (healthcare workers) if they are properly educated and the vaccine is easily accessible," the authors said, according to