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Am J Prev Med. 2010 Jul;39(1):74-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.03.007. Epub 2010 May 26.

Seasonal influenza vaccination coverage among local health department personnel in North Carolina, 2007-2008.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina 27834, USA.



National estimates indicate that a low proportion of institutional and hospital-based healthcare workers obtain influenza vaccine. Information on seasonal influenza vaccination coverage in county-level public healthcare workers is lacking, including knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions regarding seasonal influenza vaccination.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the percentage of employees receiving seasonal influenza vaccination, including perceptions and attitudes of employees of 17 health agencies in a 25-county region in eastern, rural North Carolina.


Prior to the H1N1 pandemic, an 18-item voluntary, self-administered survey (pen-and-paper or web-based) was provided to 1653 employees of 15 local health departments and two health jurisdictions in 25 counties of eastern North Carolina in May 2008, obtaining vaccination information for 2007-2008 influenza season. Analysis was conducted in summer 2008 and October 2009.


A total of 1209 respondents completed the survey (73% response proportion). Seventy-two percent of valid survey respondents voluntarily received free influenza vaccine for the 2007-2008 season. Gender, ethnicity, and >or=10 years working in public health were significantly associated with obtaining vaccine. Using logistic regression, positive significant predictors were having a vaccination last year and perceived importance of vaccine. Cost to obtain vaccination was a deterrent. The most common reason stated was to protect people (66%), while the most common reason for not receiving the vaccine was belief that the vaccine can cause illness (19%). Almost 60% of employees reported support for a mandatory seasonal influenza vaccination program at their health department.


The percentage of county public health workers obtaining seasonal influenza vaccination is almost twice that of healthcare workers in other settings. This study provides evidence that efforts may be successful in increasing influenza vaccination coverage of healthcare workers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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