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'Better flu jab education needed for healthcare staff'


Healthcare professionals are driven to get the flu jab if they believe it works, over and above a concern to protect patients from infection.

That is according to research published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The study, which found doctors were more willing to have the jab than nurses, gives an insight into the factors behind getting the seasonal flu jab.

The most significantly persuasive factor was knowing the vaccine actually works. This was given greater priority than a willingness to prevent spread of the virus, which came in second.

Third was a belief the virus is highly contagious and that prevention is important; followed by having a family that is usually vaccinated. These factors, coupled with convenient access to vaccination, were all linked to twice as many flu jabs being taken up.

The study authors maintain: “Influenza vaccination will only be successful in [healthcare workers] if they are properly educated and if the vaccine is easily accessible.”

The researchers came to their conclusions after investigating swathes of published evidence on the subject. They used 13 studies, involving just short of 85,000 healthcare workers in hospitals in Australia, Europe and North America, to learn more about what motivated staff to get the flu jab.


Readers' comments (18)

  • Tiger Girl

    If this one attracts many posts, I predict that it will turn into the usual discussion of whether relatively healthy people should be vaccinated.

    Which tends to get nowhere very useful !

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  • More propaganda to try and push people into having a jab that may or may not prevent flu, and may also cause adverse effects.

    I know of quite a lot of Doctors who won't have it because of side effects, and because they know it isn't guaranteed to prevent flu.

    This is getting boring.

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  • Dr Why ?

    Anonymous | 8-Mar-2012 1:00 pm

    It is indeed getting boring. Because it goes in circles.

    But all vaccines 'may or may not prevent 'X'', and most vaccines will have some detectable incidences of adverse side-effects - the issue involves the balance of likely benefit or harm.

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  • Let's have a bonus of £100 if you have the vaccine and see what uptake is like then!

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  • £100 wouldn't influence a choice concerning my health! Are nurses so hard up that they let money drive such decisions? Health cannot be brought and sold or be used as grounds for manipulation or coercion by others.

    A recent article said that mandatory jabs would be discussed at the RCN congress but maybe it is now realised that this is not an option and 'better education for healthcare staff is required instead'. This sounds most sinister. You will be educated. Education after all is what the teachers or government wish people to learn!

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  • Flu jabs, drug manufactures money maker. Government scare tactics.....yawn!!!

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  • What's so wrong with wanting to stop vulerable patients catching flu from staff and potentially dying from it? Maybe if you all did know more about the serious side-effects on vulnerable patients you wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the vaccine?

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  • Anonymous 9-mar-2012 9:37am

    The flu jab only covers 3 strains of flu, and only then if the recipient becomes immune. The percentages for the efficacy of the vaccine are not that good. I did not 'quickly
    dismiss the vaccine'. It only after a lot of research that I decided not to have it, and I would not expect anyone else too.

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  • Anonymous | 9-Mar-2012 9:37 am

    how about any serious and yet undiscovered side effects and efficacy of the vaccine? There is little point in being self righteous about it, people have the freedom to choose for an infinite number of reasons, and many of which may be unknown to us, what is best for them as individuals.

    Such judgements about what others should do are very superficial and not well thought through.

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  • Dr Why ?

    Anonymous | 9-Mar-2012 9:37 am

    I had 'real flu' twice as a kid - it isn't like a bad cold. Proper full-blown flu, is pretty awful, and I can see how it would kill old or frail patients.

    Whatever it is that those people who say 'I had a touch of flu a couple of days ago but now I'm fine' are suffering from, it isn't what made me so ill, feverish and soaked in sweat, that I couldn't stand up to leave my bed, even if I had wanted to!

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