Factors associated with emergency medical services providers' acceptance of the seasonal influenza vaccine

Andrew J. Rosenblum, Christopher M. Wend, Ruthe Huang, Scott Spangler, Daniel J. Barnett, Matthew Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Influenza vaccination remains the most effective primary prevention strategy for seasonal influenza. This research explores the percentage of emergency medical services (EMS) clinicians who received the seasonal flu vaccine in a given year, along with their reasons for vaccine acceptance and potential barriers. Methods: A survey was distributed to all EMS clinicians in Virginia during the 2018-2019 influenza season. The primary outcome was vaccination status. Secondary outcomes were attitudes and perceptions toward influenza vaccination, along with patient care behaviors when treating an influenza patient. Results: Ultimately, 2796 EMS clinicians throughout Virginia completed the survey sufficiently for analysis. Participants were mean 43.5 y old, 60.7% male, and included the full range of certifications. Overall, 79.4% of surveyed EMS clinicians received a seasonal flu vaccine, 74% had previously had the flu, and 18% subjectively reported previous side effects from the flu vaccine. Overall, 54% of respondents believed their agency has influenza or respiratory specific plans or procedures. Conclusions: In a large, state-wide survey of EMS clinicians, overall influenza vaccination coverage was 79.4%. Understanding the underlying beliefs of EMS clinicians remains a critical priority for protecting these frontline clinicians. Agencies should consider practical policies, such as on-duty vaccination, to increase uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Emergency medical services
  • Health personnel
  • human
  • Influenza
  • Influenza vaccines
  • Prehospital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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