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Influenza Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 753164, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/753164
Research Article

Factors Affecting Medical Students’ Uptake of the 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccine

1College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
2Unit of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health and Population Sciences, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Public Health Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK

Received 21 April 2012; Accepted 26 July 2012

Academic Editor: Ian Barr

Copyright © 2012 Siang I. Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Pandemic influenza vaccination rate amongst healthcare workers in England 2009/2010 was suboptimal (40.3%). Targeting medical students before they enter the healthcare workforce is an attractive future option. This study assessed the H1N1 vaccine uptake rate amongst medical students and factors that influenced this. Methods. Anonymised, self-administered questionnaire at a medical school. Results. The uptake rate amongst 126 medical students offered the vaccine was 49.2% and intended uptake amongst 77 students was 63.6%. Amongst those offered the vaccine, the strongest barriers to acceptance were fear of side effects (67.9%), lack of vaccine information (50.9%), lack of perceived risk (45.3%), and inconvenience (35.8%). Having a chronic illness (OR 3.4 (95% CI 1.2–10.2)), 4th/5th year of study (OR 3.0 (95% CI 1.3–7.1)), and correct H1N1 knowledge (OR 2.6 (95% CI 1.1–6.0)) were positively associated with uptake. Non-white ethnicity was an independent negative predictor of uptake (OR 0.4 (95% CI 0.2–0.8)). Students who accepted the H1N1 vaccine were three times more likely (OR 3.1 (95% CI 1.2–7.7)) to accept future seasonal influenza vaccination. Conclusion. Efforts to increase uptake should focus on routine introduction of influenza vaccine and creating a culture of uptake during medical school years, evidence-based education on vaccination, and improving vaccine delivery.