Background: The influenza vaccination rate among US health care personnel (HCP) remains low and may vary by occupational categories. The objective of this study was to explore knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs associated with influenza vaccination in a broad population of registered nurses. Methods: The study used a cross-sectional mail survey, administered January-March 2006, of 2000 registered nurses in 4 US states. Results: Of the 2000 surveys sent, 1310 (72%) were returned, and 1017 (67%) were eligible for analysis. The majority of respondents (59%) reported receiving influenza vaccine during the 2005-2006 influenza season. The most common reason for being vaccinated was protecting oneself from illness (95%), and the most common reason for not being vaccinated was concern about adverse reactions (39%). Respondents who reported their patient population as high risk related to influenza were more likely to be vaccinated and to agree with statements regarding influenza disease and influenza vaccination of HCP. Conclusion: Concerns about adverse reactions and vaccine effectiveness continue to be barriers to influenza vaccination among registered nurses. Those most knowledgeable about influenza vaccination of HCP have higher vaccination rates. Future efforts to improve vaccination rates should include data on vaccine effectiveness and adverse effects, as well as descriptions of high-risk populations. © 2009 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.
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