Why healthcare workers don't get their flu shot: 1 common barrier

Researchers at the University of Georgia in Athens have uncovered the main reasons people do or do not get their flu shot in a new study.

Researchers analyzed 29 flu vaccine-related communication research reports sponsored by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases between 2000 and 2013.

One surprising finding from the study involved healthcare workers' views on the flu. "Some healthcare workers are aware they can contract the flu, but they didn't acknowledge they can transmit the flu," said Glen Nowak, PhD, the study's lead author. "They saw patients as the threat and not themselves, which created a barrier for them to get vaccinated."

Researchers also found six reasons people did not get vaccinated and seven reasons why people did get the flu shot.

People did not get the flu shot because:

  1. They believe, usually from personal experience, that the flu is a "manageable illness"
  2. They don't believe the recommendation for the flu shot applies to them
  3. They don't believe the vaccines are effective
  4. They have concerns about getting the flu from the shot
  5. They think other measures are more effective
  6. They have had a negative personal experience with the vaccine

The main reasons people do get the flu shot are:

  1. They think they are susceptible to getting the flu
  2. The believe the vaccine matters and works
  3. They are older or have chronic illnesses
  4. A physician gave them a recommendation
  5. They have had a bad flu or flu-like illness
  6. They experiences active vaccination promotion
  7. They have easy access to the vaccine

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