Background: Though recommended by many and mandated by some, influenza vaccination rates among health care workers, even in pandemics, remain below optimal levels. The objective of this study was to assess vaccination uptake, attitudes, and distinguishing characteristics (including doctor-nurse differences) of health care workers who did and did not receive the pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine in late 2009. Methodology/Principal Findings: In early 2010 we mailed a self-administered survey to 800 physicians and 800 nurses currently licensed and practicing in Minnesota. 1,073 individuals responded (cooperation rate: 69%). 85% and 62% of Minnesota physicians and nurses, respectively, reported being vaccinated. Accurately estimating the risk of vaccine side effects (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.5-2.7), agreeing with a professional obligation to be vaccinated (OR 10.1; 95% CI 7.1-14.2), an ethical obligation to follow public health authorities' recommendations (OR 9.9; 95% CI 6.6-14.9), and laws mandating pandemic vaccination (OR 3.1; 95% CI 2.3-4.1) were all independently associated with receiving the H1N1 influenza vaccine. Conclusions/Significance: While a majority of health care workers in one midwestern state reported receiving the pandemic H1N1 vaccine, physicians and nurses differed significantly in vaccination uptake. Several key attitudes and perceptions may influence health care workers' decisions regarding vaccination. These data inform how states might optimally enlist health care workers' support in achieving vaccination goals during a pandemic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas