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Seale H.,University of New South Wales | Kaur R.,University of New South Wales | Wang Q.,University of New South Wales | Yang P.,Institute for Infectious Diseases | And 7 more authors.

Due to the advent of the new influenza A (H1N1) strain in 2009, many countries introduced mass immunization programs. Healthcare workers (HCWs) were amongst the key groups targeted for the vaccine in these programs. However, experience with the seasonal influenza vaccine has shown that there are multiple barriers related to the attitudes and perceptions of the population which influence uptake. The aim of this study was to determine pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccination rate amongst a group of Chinese HCWs and the associated factors around acceptance. A cross-sectional investigation of HCWs (doctors, nurses and technicians) from 19 hospitals in Beijing, China was conducted in January 2010. The main outcome measures were awareness, risk perception of H1N1, preventive measures and uptake of H1N1 vaccination during the pandemic. A total of 1657 HCWs completed the survey. A quarter of the participants reported receiving the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccine. Occupation (being a doctor), receiving seasonal flu vaccine and believing in the effectiveness of the vaccine were all strongly associated with accepting the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccine. Over a thousand participants (61%, 1008/1657) agreed that they were 'concerned about the side effects of the swine flu vaccine', while 758 (46%) were 'concerned that the vaccine had not been tested adequately'. While studies reported high rates of willingness toreceive the vaccine,in reality these did not transpire. Aside from promoting seasonal flu vaccination, authorities need to start educational campaigns much earlier in a pandemic. Programs that are simultaneously launched with the introduction of the vaccine will not be as successful, as those which have built momentum alongside the pandemic. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Seale H.,University of New South Wales | Wang Q.,Institute for Infectious Diseases | Yang P.,Institute for Infectious Diseases | Dwyer D.E.,Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research | And 4 more authors.
Occupational Medicine

Background: Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for health care workers (HCWs) in many countries in order to reduce the morbidity associated with influenza in health care settings. However, compliance rates with influenza vaccination are commonly low. Aims: To evaluate the current vaccination status of HCWs in Beijing, China, and examine their attitudes towards the disease and the vaccine. Methods: In January 2009, a survey was completed by 1909 HCWs in emergency departments, infection fever clinics, respiratory ward/outpatient's clinics and pediatric medical departments of 24 hospitals in Beijing (99% response rate). Results: Respondents were categorized into three main groups by occupation: nursing (60%, n = 1143), medical (36%, n = 5693) and other (4%, n = 573). When examining beliefs about the influenza vaccine, 57% (n = 51081) felt it was safe and 54% (n = 1028) thought it was effective. Less than 18% stated that they had been immunized in 2008; 40% (n = 765) or participants agreed with the statement 'the flu vaccine can cause flu in some people'. Conclusions: A better understanding of the barriers to vaccination in this population should facilitate the development of programs to make health care facilities a safer environment for both HCWs and patients. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. Source

Ridda I.,James Cook University | Gao Z.,University of New South Wales | MacIntyre C.R.,University of New South Wales | MacIntyre C.R.,National Center for Immunization Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Whooping cough or pertussis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for adults and children around the world. There has been a rise in pertussis-related deaths in the elderly; pertussis vaccination is not currently routinely recommended in adults, excepting new parents and other adults household members including grandparents and care-givers of young children. Currently, there is lack of clear vaccine recommendations after the age of 50 years. Given the increase in adult pertussis, adult vaccine recommendations are a policy consideration.The study surveyed a convenience sample of patients previously recruited in a case control study designed to examine the burden of influenza with and without AMI in adults aged ≥40 years.Our findings showed that only 9.6% had received the pertussis vaccination within the past five years and 79.4% of participants had no knowledge of the pertussis adult booster vaccine, and 30.7% of participants who had regular contact with children under the age of two years in the past 12 months.The results showed that even though there is general acceptance of prevention by vaccines, there is low awareness about pertussis vaccination. This lack of knowledge presents a barrier against pertussis vaccination thus it is imperative that any future adult immunisation policy recommendations around pertussis vaccine include awareness programs in the target population. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Chughtai A.A.,University of New South Wales | Seale H.,University of New South Wales | Dung T.C.,National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology | Maher L.,University of New South Wales | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Infection Control

Background: This study aimed to examine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices towards the use of facemasks among hospital-based health care workers (HCWs) in Hanoi, Vietnam. Methods: A qualitative study incorporating 20 focus groups was conducted between August 2010 and May 2011. HCWs from 7 hospitals in Vietnam were invited to participate. Results: Issues associated with the availability of facemasks (medical and cloth masks) and respirators was the strongest theme to emerge from the discussion. Participants reported that it is not unusual for some types of facemasks to be unavailable during nonemergency periods. It was highlighted that the use of facemasks and respirators is not continuous, but rather is limited to selected situations, locations, and patients. Reuse of facemasks and respirators is also common in some settings. Finally, some participants reported believing that the reuse of facemasks, particularly cloth masks, is safe, whereas others believed that the reuse of masks put staff at risk of infection. Conclusions: In low and middle-income countries, access to appropriate levels of personal protective equipment may be restricted owing to competing demands for funding in hospital settings. It is important that issues around reuse and extended use of medical masks/respirators and decontamination of cloth masks are addressed in policy documents to minimize the risk of infection. Copyright © 2015 by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Seale H.,University of New South Wales | Trung L.,University of New South Wales | Mackie F.E.,Sydney Childrens Hospital | Mackie F.E.,University of New South Wales | And 9 more authors.

Barriers influencing the willingness of parents to vaccinate immunocompetent children include a lack of knowledge about human papillomavirus (HPV) and low perception of risk regarding their child's acquisition of HPV infection. However, it cannot be assumed that the facilitators and barriers of HPV vaccination are the same for parents/guardians of children who are immunocompromised, or who have chronic medical conditions. This study aimed to document the knowledge and attitudes of parents/guardians of immunosuppressed children and adolescents towards HPV infection and the vaccine.A study using qualitative methods which incorporated 27 semi-structured interviews was undertaken with parents/guardians of immunosuppressed children vaccinated against HPV at three hospitals in two states of Australia. Thematic analysis revealed that while participants acknowledged that they had heard of HPV, they did not have a strong sense of what it actually was. The level of concern held about their child acquiring an HPV infection (prior to vaccination) ranged from 'not at all' to 'extremely'. Some believed that their child was at increased risk of developing a severe HPV-related illness because of their underlying condition. The participants supported their child receiving the HPV vaccine, as they did not want to take a risk with a disease that may cause their child to return to hospital for treatment. The majority had little apprehension about the use of the HPV vaccine but expressed some concern that potential adverse effects would be more severe for immunosuppressed children. However, they stressed their belief in the safety of the vaccine and their trust in the child's health team.Our study results show that parents of children with impaired immunity would benefit from further information about the safety of the vaccine and about the important role of the vaccine for boys as well as girls. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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