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Intention to have the seasonal influenza vaccination during the COVID-19 epidemic among eligible adults: A cross-sectional survey

Publication date: 

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

Publication type: 



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.