Background: Although influenza is a contagious and widespread viral disease, its impact on public health is controlled by vaccination programs. However, anti-vaccination sentiment is also increasing in society. This study aims to explore the factors influencing influenza vaccine hesitancy.
Methods: Between November 2020 and January 2021, a cross-sectional observational survey was carried out in Turkey. To investigate the extent of vaccine hesitancy among individuals, an online questionnaire was created using Google Forms. Data were collected using an exponential non-discriminative snowball sampling technique. Besides internal consistency reliability, chi-square was performed. Statistical significance was defined as p < 0.05.
Results: This research encompassed a cohort of 172 respondents, with an average age of 53.5±14.3 years within the total sample. Most participants (126, 73.25%) were above 45. The participant group was predominantly female (93, 54.1%), and most had achieved a high school or university education (117, 66.2%). Out of the participants, 123 individuals (71.5%) reported having a chronic ailment. Among the 172 participants, 118 (68.6%) exhibited no reluctance to receive the influenza vaccine, while 54 (31.4%) expressed vaccine hesitancy. There was a notable statistically significant distinction in the level of knowledge regarding influenza vaccines (p<0.001, χ²= 20.482).
Conclusion: Lack of information, perceived harms, lack of trust in pharmaceutical companies, and experiences are among the most important determinants of anti-vaccination. Pharmacists may have a potential role in the leading part of the healthcare team in the fight against anti-vaccination in the community.
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