Influenza vaccinations for high-risk adult populations: How well is general practice doing?


Background and objective: While influenza vaccine uptake in older Australian adults is fairly high, uptake in younger at-risk adults is suboptimal. The aim of this study was to explore general practice’s ability to deliver the national influenza vaccination program in high risk adult populations.

Methods: The study was a qualitative inquiry framed by the Capability–Opportunity– Motivation model of behaviour change (COM-B model) using semi-structured interviews and content analysis.

Results: Six general practitioners and eight practice nurses were recruited from diverse locations across Australia. Participants generally reported having the capability, opportunity and motivation to effectively deliver influenza vaccination to high-risk adults. Perceived barriers included time pressures, complexity of patient consultations, difficulty reaching high-risk younger adults, issues related to optimal timing of influenza vaccination, inconsistent vaccine supply and pharmacist involvement in vaccination.

Discussion: Making influenza vaccination recommendations a ‘whole-of-practice’ staff responsibility can address some challenges. Clear and consistent messaging about the importance and optimal timing of influenza vaccination, and a more efficient vaccine supply chain, would support influenza vaccination in general practice.


influenza, public health, vaccination

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