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Vaccine . The continuum of influenza vaccine hesitancy among nursing professionals in Hong Kong

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  • Vaccine . The continuum of influenza vaccine hesitancy among nursing professionals in Hong Kong


    . 2020 Sep 2;S0264-410X(20)31079-3.
    doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.08.038. Online ahead of print.
    The continuum of influenza vaccine hesitancy among nursing professionals in Hong Kong

    Leonia Hiu Wan Lau 1 , Shui Shan Lee 2 , Ngai Sze Wong 3



    Introduction: Influenza vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers poses challenges to the achievement of herd immunity and causes infection risks to vulnerable patients. This study aimed to quantify the extent of influenza vaccine hesitancy among nurses in Hong Kong, to delineate its pattern, and to explore its socio-demographic, professional and personal correlates.
    Method: Nurses in Hong Kong were recruited in a cross-sectional study involving the administration of an online questionnaire survey after the 2017/18 winter influenza season. Respondents' influenza vaccination behaviours, attitudes and psychological antecedents were assessed, followed by their delineation into subgroups along the hesitancy continuum through a combination of multiple correspondence analysis and K-means cluster analysis. Socio-demographic, professional and personal correlations of subgrouping were investigated using generalised ordered logistic regression.
    Results: The overall vaccination coverage of nurses for the 2017/18 influenza season was 44%. Five clusters were differentiated by the level of influenza vaccine hesitancy: "Very high hesitancy-to-complete refusal" (n = 56; 7%) characterised by outright refusal of vaccination; "High hesitancy" (n = 171; 23%) distinguished by tendency of skipping vaccination and scepticism about safety of vaccine; "Moderate hesitancy" (n = 273; 36%) with uncertainties towards vaccination, mistrust of the government's vaccine recommendations and priority concern on affordability of vaccine; "Low hesitancy" (n = 95; 13%) with cautious acceptance towards vaccination and "No-to-minimal hesitancy" (n = 158; 21%) with strong vaccine confidence and compliance greatly linked to convenience of vaccine access. Nurses having completed at least 3 years' pre-registration professional training, having most family members vaccinated against influenza, and with influenza vaccination history during studentship were less vaccine hesitant.
    Conclusion: With more than half of the nurses in Hong Kong having moderate or higher level of influenza vaccine hesitancy, interventions customised to the needs of nurses as reflected from the characteristics of clusters along the vaccine hesitancy continuum could form an important strategy for improving vaccination uptake.

    Keywords: Healthcare workers; Influenza; Influenza vaccination; Nurse; Vaccine hesitancy.