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.