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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Factors associated with 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccination acceptance among university students from India during the post-pandemic phase

Padmanaban S Suresh1*, Venkatesh Thejaswini2 and Thangarasu Rajan3

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Biomedical Research, Vellore Institute of Technology University, Vellore, India

2 Dept of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

3 Aarupadai Veedu Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:205  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-205

Published: 29 July 2011

Abstract

Background

There was a low adherence to influenza A (H1N1) vaccination program among university students and health care workers during the pandemic influenza in many parts of the world. Vaccination of high risk individuals is one of the recommendations of World Health Organization during the post-pandemic period. It is not documented about the student's knowledge, attitude and willingness to accept H1N1 vaccination during the post-pandemic period. We aimed to analyze the student's knowledge, attitude and willingness to accept H1N1 vaccination during the post-pandemic period in India.

Methods

Vaccine against H1N1 was made available to the students of Vellore Institute of Technology, India from September 2010. The data are based on a cross-sectional study conducted during October 2010 to January 2011 using a self-administered questionnaire with a representative sample of the student population (N = 802).

Results

Of the 802 respondents, only 102/802 (12.7%) had been vaccinated and 105/802 (13%) planned to do so in the future, while 595/802 (74%) would probably or definitely not get vaccinated in the future. The highest coverage was among the female (65/102, 63.7%) and non-compliance was higher among men in the group (384/595; 64.5%) (p < 0.0001). The representation of students from school of Bio-sciences and Bio-technology among vaccinees is significantly higher than that of other schools. Majority of the study population from the three groups perceived vaccine against H1N1 as the effective preventive measure when compared to other preventive measures. 250/595 (42%) of the responders argued of not being in the risk group. The risk perception was significantly higher among female (p < 0.0001). With in the study group, 453/802 (56.4%) said that they got the information, mostly from media.

Conclusions

Our study shows that the vaccination coverage among university students remains very low in the post-pandemic period and doubts about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are key elements in their rejection. Our results indicate a need to provide accessible information about the vaccine safety by scientific authorities and fill gaps and confusions in this regard.

Keywords:
H1N1; Vaccination; Vaccine acceptance; Assessment