The influenza vaccine for nursing and care professionals at emergency services in Flanders
Background: The Belgian Superior Health Council recommends seasonal influenza vaccination for people working in the health care sector in order to reduce the risk of the influenza virus being transmitted to people at risk. The aim of this study is to provide more insight into the current vaccination rate in nurses and health care professionals in emergency services in Flanders. In addition, the influence of influenza vaccination on absenteeism will be investigated, as well as the motivation to
... the motivation to get vaccinated or not.Methods: A quantitative multicentre, cross-sectional study was carried out in which nurses and health care professionals in emergency services in Flanders were questioned by means of an online questionnaire.Results: The survey of nurses and health care professionals in Flanders from 2018 shows that 54% (294/548) gets vaccinated annually. Respondents who have been vaccinated report a lower absenteeism due to flu compared to health workers who do not get vaccinated. There is a lack of general knowledge about flu and vaccination. 34% of nurses and health care professionals in emergencies do not know the correct definition of flu. The main reasons for being vaccinated are: to protect oneself (27%), family members (21.5%) and patients (16%). Reasons for not getting vaccinated are: never having had the flu before (30%), believing you get the flu because of the vaccination (12%), no belief or trust in the vaccine (19%).Conclusions: This study shows that influenza vaccination campaigns should put the emphasis on knowledge. Nursing and care professionals should be convinced of the effective action of the vaccine. This can increase the vaccination rate for seasonal influenza and as a consequence reduce absenteeism.