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Saudi Med J. 2019 Oct;40(10):1013-1018. doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.11.24587.

Influenza vaccine coverage, awareness, and beliefs regarding seasonal influenza vaccination among people aged 65 years and older in Central Saudi Arabia.

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College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail.



To investigate the level of awareness, sources of knowledge, and beliefs about the influenza vaccine in people ≥65 years in central Saudi Arabia.


A cross-sectional study that used self-administered questionnaires conducted in 3 primary healthcare centers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between May 2018 and August 2018.


There were 496 Saudis participants (70.2% male) were included, of whom, 47.8% had been vaccinated against influenza at least once. Of unvaccinated individuals, 46% believed that the vaccine was unnecessary. The majority of participants (70.2%) preferred to receive medical information on vaccination from doctors and health workers. Participants with higher levels of education were significantly more likely to have been vaccinated (p less than 0.05). Compared to the vaccinated participants, unvaccinated individuals were significantly less likely to be aware of the Ministry of Health campaign against influenza, believe that influenza vaccine does not weaken the immune system, know that elderly people and people with long-standing health problems should be regularly vaccinated against influenza, and believe that the influenza vaccine was the best way of prevention. Approximately 40% of the participants considered the influenza vaccine to be very effective and safe.


There is a need for further programs in order to increase the awareness level of influenza vaccination. Also, health workers need to make more effort to educate patients because they are the preferred source of information.

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