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Intention to have the seasonal influenza vaccination during the COVID-19 epidemic among eligible adults: A cross-sectional survey
13 Jul 2021
BMJ Open 2021;11:e049369 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049369
Sherman SM, Sim J, Amlôt R, Cutts M, Dasch H, Rubin GJ, Sevdalis N, Smith LE
Abstract Objective To investigate the likelihood of having the seasonal influenza vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals who were eligible to receive it. Design We conducted a cross-sectional online survey in July 2020. We included predictors informed by previous research, in the following categories: sociodemographic variables; uptake of influenza vaccine last winter and beliefs about vaccination. Participants 570 participants (mean age: 53.07; 56.3% female, 87.0% white) who were eligible for the free seasonal influenza vaccination in the UK. Results 59.7% of our sample indicated they were likely to have the seasonal influenza vaccination, 22.1% reported being unlikely to have the vaccination and 18.2% were unsure. We used logistic regression to investigate variables associated with intention to receive a seasonal influenza vaccine in the 2020–2021 season. A positive attitude to vaccination in general predicted intention to have the influenza vaccine in 2020–2021 (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.77, p<0.001) but the strongest predictor of intention was previous influenza vaccination behaviour (OR 278.58, 95% CI 78.04 to 994.46, p<0.001). Conclusions Previous research suggests that increasing uptake of the influenza vaccination may help contain a COVID-19 outbreak, so steps need to be taken to convert intention into behaviour and to reach those individuals who reported being unlikely or unsure about having the vaccine.