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

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Susan M. Sherman, Julius Sim, Richard Amlôt, Megan Cutts, Hannah Dasch, G. James Rubin, Nick Sevdalis, Louise E. Smith

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere049369
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7
Published13 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Funding Data collection was funded by a Keele University Faculty of Natural Sciences Research Development award to SMS, JS and NS, and a King’s Together Rapid COVID-19 award granted jointly to LES, GJR, RA, NS, SMS and JS. LES, RA and GJR are supported by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response, a partnership between Public Health England, King’s College London and the University of East Anglia. NS's research is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) South London at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. NS is a member of King’s Improvement Science, which offers co-funding to the NIHR ARC South London and comprises a specialist team of improvement scientists and senior researchers based at King’s College London. Its work is funded by King’s Health Partners (Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust), Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the Maudsley Charity. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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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.

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