Improving Influenza Vaccination Rate among Primary Healthcare Workers in Qatar
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The purpose of this study was to improve influenza vaccination, and determine factors influencing vaccine declination among health care workers (HCW) in Qatar. We launched an influenza vaccination campaign to vaccinate around 4700 HCW in 22 Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) centers in Qatar between 1st and 15th of November, 2015. Our target was to vaccinate 60% of all HCW. Vaccine was offered free of charge at all centers, and information about the campaign and the importance of influenza vaccination was provided to employees through direct communication, emails, and social media networks. Staff were reported as vaccinated or non-vaccinated using a declination form that included their occupation, place of work and reasons for declining the vaccine. Survey responses were summarized as proportional outcomes. We exceeded our goal, and vaccinated 77% of the target population. Only 9% declined to take the vaccine, and the remaining 14% were either on leave or had already been vaccinated. Vaccine uptake was highest among aides (98.1%), followed by technicians (95.2%), and was lowest amongst pharmacists (73.2%), preceded by physicians (84%). Of those that declined the vaccine, 34% provided no reason, 18% declined it due to behavioral issues, and 21% declined it due to medical reasons. Uptake of influenza vaccine significantly increased during the 2015 immunization campaign. This is attributed to good planning, preparation, a high level of communication, and providing awareness and training to HCW with proper supervision and monitoring.
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