INTRODUCTION: Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection influencing all aged people. Healthcare workers (HCWs) not only are vulnerable to influenza infection, but also act as a possible mediator for infection transmission. The best way to prevent influenza is annual vaccination. The aim of this study is to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of medical students, nurse trainees, and pediatric patients caregivers about influenza and influenza vaccination in our tertiary hospital.
METHODS: We performed the study between April 01, 2019 and June 01, 2019. The survey consisted of a 22-item questionnaire that included questions about the demographic properties, vaccination status, decisions and attitudes about the influenza disease and influenza vaccination.
RESULTS: Among 600 participants 502 of them completed the survey (response rate: 83%). One hundred and fifty participants from each group, who fully completed the questionnaires were included in the study. Most of the study participants have never get flu vaccination before (p<0.001). It was seen that the difference between common cold and flu was better known by medical students and nurse trainees, than the caregivers (p<0.001). A higher percentage of caregivers agreed with the decision that flu could not disappear without using antibiotics (26.0% vs 5.3% and 6.7%) (p<0.001). Most of the participants declared the thought of unnecessity of vaccination, as influenza is a simple infection (p=0.05). Approximately half of the medical students, 70% of the nurse trainees, versus 46% of the caregivers reported that to experience a disease itself is better than vaccination against it (p=0.007). A higher proportion of caregivers noted that they heard or read about harmful effects of influenza vaccines on internet or social media (p=0.008).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: This study showed that most of the study participants did never get flu vaccination before. The difference between common cold and flu was better known by medical students and nurse trainees. A higher ratio of caregivers agreed that flu could not disappear without using antibiotics. Most of the participants declared the thought of unnecessity of vaccination. High percentage of participants had misinformation regarding influenza vaccines. A higher proportion of caregivers noted that they heard or read about harmful effects of influenza vaccines on internet or social media.