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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 7 (1996), Issue 5, Pages 296-300
Original Article

Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccination in Long Term Care Facilities in Two Regions of Quebec

Philippe De Wals,1,2,3 Michel Carbonneau,1 Hélène Payette,1,2,4 and Théophile Niyonsenga1,5

1Département des Sciences de la santé communautaire, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
2Centre de Recherche en Gériatrie et Gérontologie, Hôpital d’Youville, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
3Direction de la Santé publique, Régie de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie, Québec, Canada
4Direction de la Santé publique, Régie de la santé et des services sociaux de l’Estrie, Canada
5Centre de Recherche Clinique du Centre Universitaire de Santé de l’Estrie, Québec, Canada

Received 10 April 1996; Accepted 27 June 1996

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the use of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines in long term care facilities.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey in a random sample of 30 facilities in two regions of Quebec. Information was collected from the general manager or the chief of nursing, all consultant physicians and a random sample of 20 residents in each facility.

RESULTS: Twenty-nine centres agreed to participate. The mean influenza vaccination rate was 70%, and was not influenced by differences in the types of facilities or the organization of the programs for immunization. The main obstacle to influenza vaccination reported by physicians was nonacceptance by a significant proportion of residents. Of the residents who did not initially request influenza vaccine, only 64% accepted vaccination when it was offered. The vast majority of residents were satisfied with the information they had received and the respect shown for their freedom of choice. Forty per cent of residents were unfit to provide a valid consent and the vaccination rate was 76% in this group. Only one-third of the physicians regularly obtained authorization from a relative or the legal guardian before prescribing vaccination for incompetent residents. None of the facilities studied had an effective program for pneumococcal vaccination, only 43% of the physicians reported any use of pneumococcal vaccine and 98% of residents had never heard of the vaccine.

CONCLUSIONS: The national objective of 95% coverage with influenza vaccine will be difficult to achieve in long term care facilities, mainly because a minority of residents are not likely to be convinced of the benefit of immunization. Much remains to be done to promote and administer pneumococcal vaccine in this setting.