Influenza vaccination during the coronavirus pandemic: intention to vaccinate among the at-risk population in the Central Catalonia Health Region (VAGCOVID).

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    • Abstract:
      Background: Influenza is a major public health issue, with the primary preventive measure being an annual influenza vaccination. Nevertheless, vaccination coverage among the at-risk population is low. Our understanding of the behaviour of the influenza virus during the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic is limited, meaning influenza vaccination is still recommended for individuals at risk for severe complications due to influenza infection. The aim of the study is to determine the intention to vaccinate against seasonal influenza among the at-risk population in the 2020-21 campaign during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and to analyse the factors which influence such intention. Methods: Cross-sectional telephone survey of adults (aged over 18) with risk factors in central Catalonia where the need for the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine (SIV) was recommended. Results: A total of 434 participants responded to the survey, 43.3% of whom intended to be vaccinated against influenza for the 2020-2021 influenza season, 40.8% had no intention to be vaccinated and 15.9% were uncertain or did not express their opinion. The intention to get vaccinated against influenza is associated with having dependents, the individual's perception of the risk of being infected with influenza and the perceived risk of transmission to dependents. It is also associated with age, whether the individual had received influenza vaccine the previous season or any other season before. The best predictors of the intention to vaccinate are the individual's perception of the risk of catching influenza and whether the individual had been vaccinated in the previous season. Conclusions: Intention to vaccinate can be a good predictor of individual behaviour in relation to vaccination. During the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic many individuals are hesitant to influenza vaccination. In order to improve influenza vaccination coverage in people included in risk groups, it is necessary to promote educational actions, especially among those who express doubts. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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