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In Vaccine ; h5-index 70.0

OBJECTIVE : The general public influenza vaccination coverage in Poland is one of the lowest in the EU (3.7% in 2017/2018). Teachers have the potential to be a target group for immunization programs against influenza infection, however, there is yet to be a study in Poland, or even in the EU that has assessed influenza vaccine uptake among this group. The study objective was to evaluate influenza vaccination coverage and to assess influencing determinants amongst Polish teachers.

METHOD : A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted among 277 teachers from 9 primary schools of two regional capitals of two Polish regions: Szczecin and Lublin.

RESULTS : A quarter of teachers have ever received influenza vaccine; 4.5% reported receiving vaccination in the 2018/2019 season. The main reasons for not being vaccinated were a lack of confidence in its effectiveness (56.9%) and concerns related to adverse effects (30.6%). Forty four percent (43.8%) of teachers believed that they are at risk of influenza infection, only 62.5% indicated vaccination as an effective method of preventing influenza. Previous information about influenza (OR = 15.70), high knowledge level about influenza (OR = 2.56), family physician recommendation (OR = 2.39), belief that influenza vaccination should be mandatory for teachers (OR = 3.29), and having a vaccinated family member (OR = 2.68) were each associated with higher odds of immunization. Willingness to be vaccinated against influenza in the next season was strongly associated with current vaccination status (OR = 7.16).

CONCLUSIONS : Influenza vaccination coverage among Polish teachers is alarmingly low; vaccine receipt was associated with teacher attitudes and beliefs. Future interventions related to maximizing vaccination coverage in this group should take advantage of the involvement of family physicians and specifically focus on teachers who have never been vaccinated before. As knowledge about influenza positively influences vaccination decisions, education strategies should focus on reducing knowledge gaps to alter attitudes and increase uptake.

Ganczak Maria, Kalinowski Paweł, Drozd-Dąbrowska Marzena, Biesiada Daniel, Dubiel Paulina, Topczewska Katarzyna, Molas-Biesiada Agnieszka, Oszutowska-Mazurek Dorota, Korzeń Marcin


Determinants, Influenza, Knowledge, Teachers, Uptake, Vaccination