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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Self-reported immunity and opinions on vaccination of hospital personnel among paediatric healthcare workers in Denmark

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BACKGROUND: Denmark has no general recommendations for vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs). We explored the self-reported immunity to varicella, measles, mumps, and rubella, reasons for receiving the influenza vaccine or not, and opinions on vaccination of HCWs against varicella, MMR, pertussis, diphtheria, and influenza among staff from departments with a high risk of exposure to infectious agents.

METHODS: From May 2019 to August 2019, a structured questionnaire was distributed to clinical and non-clinical HCWs at a tertiary and a general paediatric department in Denmark. Self-reported immunity was defined as either previous infection or vaccination against the disease.

RESULTS: Of 619 employed HCWs, 555 (90%) were included. A large proportion were unsure of or denied previous vaccination or infection with measles (20.1%), mumps (30.2%), rubella (21.4%), varicella (12.1%), pertussis (44.1%), and diphtheria (32.1%). Non-clinical personnel and employees born in 1974-1983 had the lowest level of self-reported immunity. Mandatory vaccination of non-immune HCWs was approved by 54-68.9% of participants, and any kind of vaccination (mandatory or as an offer at hospitals) was approved of up to 95.3% of all participants depending on the disease. During the season 2018/19, 214 (38.6%) HCWs received the influenza vaccine, including 20.3% of non-clinical staff, 34.8% of nurses and 56.5% of doctors (P < 0.001). Reasons for lack of vaccine uptake were mainly employees considering themselves rarely sick, the vaccine was not regarded as necessary, forgetfulness or lack of time. Only 37.8% was in favour of mandatory influenza vaccination.

CONCLUSIONS: A large proportion of paediatric HCWs were not aware of their immune status against important vaccine-preventable diseases. >90% supported vaccination of HCWs, with two out of three supporting mandatory MMR, pertussis and diphtheria vaccination. Better information and an official immunisation policy of non-immune HCWs in Denmark is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVaccine
Volume38
Issue number42
Pages (from-to)6570-6577
Number of pages8
ISSN0264-410X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • Health attitudes, Healthcare worker immunisation, Influenza, Knowledge and perception, Mandatory vaccination, Vaccine preventable diseases

ID: 60692882