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Vaccine. 2014 Sep 3;32(39):5083-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.06.031. Epub 2014 Jun 30.

Vaccination coverage and susceptibility against vaccine-preventable diseases of healthcare students in Athens, Greece.

Author information

  • 1Department for Interventions in HealthCare Facilities, Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Athens, Greece.
  • 2National Health Operations Centre, Athens, Greece.
  • 3University of Athens, First Department of Pediatrics, "Aghia Sophia" Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.
  • 4Department for Interventions in HealthCare Facilities, Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Athens, Greece. Electronic address:



Vaccination of healthcare students is important to protect them from acquiring and transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) to high-risk patients and other healthcare workers (HCWs). The aim of the current study was to estimate the vaccination coverage, the susceptibility against VPDs, the knowledge and attitudes toward vaccinations of healthcare students studying at the Athens Technological Educational Institute.


The study was conducted during the academic year 2012-2013 using a standardized questionnaire.


The mean knowledge score (correct answers) of healthcare students about the vaccines that are recommended by the Greek Ministry of Health for HCWs was 41%. Completed vaccination rates range from 19.6% for varicella to 80.2% for tetanus-diphtheria. A history of measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or pertussis was reported by 8.2%, 4%, 5.4%, 70.4%, 1.5%, 0%, and 3% of students, respectively. Susceptibility rates were 20.5% against measles, 26.4% against mumps, 13.9% against rubella, 15.7% against varicella, 47.8% against hepatitis A, 17.3% against hepatitis B, and 19.8% against tetanus-diphtheria. Mandatory vaccination of HCWs was supported by 145 (96.7%) students.


There are significant immunity gaps against all VPDs among healthcare students in Athens. A system to easily identify non-immune students should be established in association with efficient reminder systems. Education of healthcare students about VPDs and vaccines will improve their attitudes toward vaccinations and their vaccination coverage. Mandatory vaccinations should be considered for HCWs in order to promote safety within healthcare facilities.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Coverage; Healthcare students; Susceptibility; Vaccination

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