. 2020 Jul 9;S0264-410X(20)30832-X.
doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.06.046. Online ahead of print.
Self-reported vaccination status and attitudes towards mandatory vaccinations for health care workers among medical students

Ursula Kunze 1 , Heike Schweinzer 2



Health care workers (HCWs) are exposed to a high risk of infectious diseases at work, and of transmitting these to their patients and colleagues. Medical students constitute an important, yet neglected, group within HCW because of their contact with patients in the course of compulsory or voluntary practical training courses at health care institutions. The aim of this study was to determine the current vaccination status of medical students at the Medical University of Vienna and assess their attitudes towards occupationally indicated mandatory vaccinations for doctors and other HCW. Nearly 80% of the students considered mandatory vaccinations for doctors an appropriate measure and 88% would recommend them in settings involving immunocompromised patients. The acceptance of mandatory immunisation differs very markedly for individual vaccinations; it ranges from 82.8% for hepatitis B to 40% for influenza. The self-reported vaccination status among medical students was 90.1%, 89.9%, 88.1% and 84.4% for hepatitis B, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A, respectively. Inadequately low rates of 78%, 70.5% and 70.5%, and 28.7% were reported for MMR, varicella, pertussis and influenza (2014/15 season), respectively. CONCLUSION: The majority of medical students at the MUW had a positive attitude towards vaccinations and considered mandatory vaccinations for doctors and HCW an appropriate measure. However, the large majority of the vaccination rates are worthy of improvement.

Keywords: Health care workers; Mandatory; Medical students; Vaccination; Vaccination status.