An observational study of university students of healthcare area: knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards vaccinations
Despite vaccines are the most successful public health interventions for prevention of infectious diseases “vaccine hesitancy” spreads today across the world. Despite attitudes of future generations of HCWs is fundamental, these aren’t much analysed in the literature. The aim of our research was a) to evaluate attitudes and behaviours reported towards vaccinations among a sample of university students in the health area, b) to know their vaccination status and intention to get vaccines and c) investigate their propensity to vaccinate (who and with which vaccines).
Materials and methods
we evaluated a sample of university students of the health area of University of Messina through an anonymous face to face questionnaires based on HProimmune survey appropriately modified, analysing presence of statistical difference between gender. All analyses were carried out using EPI INFO software.
Our study showed a general lack of confidence and insecurity towards vaccination by future HCWs and absent perception of the risk of acquire a vaccine preventable disease as they also demonstrate low vaccination coverage in our sample. Their opinion about awareness of recommended vaccines for HCWs also was low, however, they thought that vaccinations should be a prerequisite for healthcare professionals to work in healthcare area. Also, we observed that 96% of respondents would recommend vaccinations to their patients, with a greater propensity of women.
The motivations of vaccine hesitancy are many and maybe other studies would help policymakers and stake-holders to shape programs to improve vaccination coverage among students and HCWs