Abstract

Objectives: To investigate influenza vaccination uptake rates, attitudes and motivations towards influenza vaccination among student health care workers (HCWs).

Methods: Self-reported influenza vaccination uptake among student HCWs at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Western Australia (UNDAF) was surveyed before and after implementation of a peer-led, student-centered campaign to raise awareness of, and improve access to, influenza vaccination. Data were weighted and analysed using logistic regression.

Results: Pre-campaign influenza vaccination uptake was 36.3% (95% CI=31.8%-40.8%), with students identifying lack of awareness of both the Australian Government’s recommendations and university policy, cost, and inconvenience of vaccine access as key barriers. Post-campaign vaccination coverage increased significantly to 55.9% (95% CI=52.2%-59.6%). Multivariate logistic regression, controlled for statistically insignificant confounders of age and gender, showed that being a student HCW in 2014 (campaign year) was significantly and independently associated with influenza vaccination (OR 2.2, 95% CI=1.7-2.9, P<0.001). Other significant factors were eligibility for National Immunisation Programme (NIP) funded vaccine (OR 12.3, 95% CI=6.3 – 24.0, P<0.001), employment as HCWs (OR 1.9, 95% CI=1.5-2.6, P<0.001), recalled campaign materials (OR 1.8, 95% CI=1.2 – 2.7, P=0.002) and enrolled in medicine (OR 1.6, 95% CI=1.1-2.4, P=0.016).

Conclusions: Student HCWs’ influenza vaccination uptake improved significantly following a low-cost, peer-led promotional campaign. This approach can be adapted to other settings.

Keywords

influenza, vaccination, peer-led, promotion, student health care worker

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