Determinants of influenza vaccination uptake among Italian healthcare workers.Hum Vaccin Immunother 2013; 9(4):911-6HV
We analyzed seasonal influenza vaccination coverage among the Italian healthcare workers (HCW) in order to identify socio-demographic and clinical determinants of vaccination. We used data from the survey "Health and health care use in Italy," which comprised interviews of 5,336 HCWs For each respondent, information on socioeconomic, health conditions, self-perceived health and smoking status were obtained. After bivariate analysis, we used multilevel regression models to assess determinants of immunization. Overall 20.8% of HCWs (95%CI 19.7-21.9) reported being vaccinated against seasonal influenza. After controlling for potential confounders, multilevel regression revealed that older workers have a higher likelihood of vaccine uptake (OR = 6.07; 95% CI 4.72-7.79). Conversely, higher education was associated with lower vaccine uptake (OR = 0.65; 95% IC 0.50-0.83). Those suffering from diabetes (OR = 2.07; 95% CI 1.19-1.69), COPD (OR = 1.95; 95% CI 1.31-2.89) and cardiovascular diseases (OR = 1.48 95% CI 1.11-1.96) were more likely to be vaccinated. Likewise, smokers, or former smokers receive more frequently the vaccination (OR = 1.40; 95% CI 1.15-1.70; OR = 1.54; 95% CI 1.24-1.91, respectively) compared with never-smokers as well as those HCWs reporting fair or poor perceived health status (ORs of 1.68, 95% CI 1.30-2.18). Vaccine coverage among HCWs in Italy remains low, especially among those with no comorbidities and being younger than 44 y old. This behavior not only raises questions regarding healthcare organization, infection control in healthcare settings and clinical costs, but also brings up ethical issues concerning physicians who seem not to be very concerned about the impact of the flu on themselves, as well as on their patients. Influenza vaccination campaigns will only be effective if HCWs understand their role in influenza transmission and prevention, and realize the importance of vaccination as a preventive measure.