Provider misconceptions about parental attitudes may be a more significant barrier to inpatient flu vaccination than the parents’ actual attitudes, reported Suchitra Rao, MD, of the University of Colorado, Aurora, and her colleagues.

Surveys assessing attitudes toward inpatient influenza vaccination were given to parents/caregivers of general pediatric inpatients and to inpatient physicians, residents, nurses, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora between October 2014 and March 2015. Response rates were 95% of the 1,053 parents/caregivers and 58% of the 339 providers.

At time of admission, 37% of children received the current flu vaccine. The children’s median age was 4 years, 70% were white, 54% were male, and 44% had a high-risk medical condition. Of the 55% of parents who said their child usually gets an annual flu shot, 92% would agree to an inpatient flu shot if eligible. Of the 45% of parents who said they don’t routinely get their child an annual flu shot, 37% would agree to inpatient flu vaccination if eligible.

The parents agreed that the flu is a serious disease (92%), that flu vaccines work (58%), that flu vaccines are safe (76%), and that the vaccines are needed annually (76%), the Dr. Rao and her colleagues found.

The providers thought the most common barriers to vaccination were parental refusal because of child illness (80%) and family misconceptions about the vaccine (74%). Also, 54% of providers forgot to ask about flu vaccination status and 46% forgot to order flu vaccines.

When asked what interventions might increase flu vaccination rates in the inpatient setting, 73% of providers agreed that personal reminders might help increase vaccination rates, but only 48% thought that provider education might help do so.

Read more in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses (2017 Sep 5. doi: 10.1111/irv.12482. )


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