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Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Dec;8(12):1442-7.

Cross-sectional study on influenza vaccination, Germany, 1999-2000.

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  • 1Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany.


To assess influenza vaccination coverage in Germany, we conducted a nationwide telephone survey in November 1999 in adults (>18 yrs) using random-digit dialing. Overall, 23% of 1,190 survey participants reported having been vaccinated (adjusted 18%) with 16% (adjusted 15%) in former West Germany versus 35% (adjusted 32%) in former East Germany. Immunization rates for vaccination target groups were lower in West Germany (21%) than in East Germany (40%). Seven percent of health-care workers were immunized. Previous influenza vaccination, positive attitudes towards immunization, and having a family physician increased the rate of vaccination; fear of adverse effects lowered the rate. Family physicians performed 93% of the vaccinations, which suggests their key role in improving low vaccination coverage in Germany. The fact that >71% (850/1,190) of participants belonged to at least one of the vaccination target groups recommended by the German Standing Commission on Immunization emphasizes the need to focus the definition of target groups.

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