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 J. 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
  • Influenza
  • Influenza vaccines
  • Prehospital
  • human

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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