Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Infectious Diseases and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Trends in influenza vaccination coverage rates in Germany over five seasons from 2001 to 2006

Majbrit V Holm1, Patricia R Blank2 and Thomas D Szucs2*

Author Affiliations

1 European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine, University of Basel, 4031 Basel, Switzerland

2 Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:144  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-144

Published: 10 December 2007

Abstract

Background

To assess influenza vaccination coverage from 2001 to 2006 in Germany, to understand drivers and barriers to vaccination and to identify vaccination intentions for season 2006/07.

Methods

9,990 telephone-based household surveys from age 14 were conducted between 2001 and 2006. Essentially, the same questionnaire was used in all seasons.

Results

The influenza vaccination coverage rate reached 32.5% in 2005/06. In the elderly (≥60 years), the vaccination rate reached 58.9% in 2005/06. In those aged 65 years and older, it was 63.4%. Perceiving influenza as a serious illness was the most frequent reason for getting vaccinated. Thirteen percent of those vaccinated in 2005/06 indicated the threat of avian flu as a reason. The main reason for not getting vaccinated was thinking about it without putting it into practice. The major encouraging factor to vaccination was a recommendation by the family doctor. 49.6% of the respondents intend to get vaccinated against influenza in season 2006/07.

Conclusion

Increasing vaccination rates were observed from 2001 to 2006 in Germany. The threat of avian influenza and the extended reimbursement programs may have contributed to the recent increase.