Open Access Research article

Italian healthcare workers' views on mandatory vaccination

Silvio ST Tafuri1, Domenico DM Martinelli2, Giovanni GC Caputi1, Annamaria AA Arbore1, Cinzia CG Germinario1 and Rosa RP Prato2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Hygiene Section, University of Bari, Apulia Regional Epidemiological Observatory, Bari, Italy

2 Department of Medical Sciences, Hygiene Section, University of Foggia, Apulia Regional Epidemiological Observatory, Foggia, Italy

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Health Services Research 2009, 9:100  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-100

Published: 11 June 2009

Abstract

Background

Mandatory vaccination has contributed to the success of immunisation programmes but voluntary vaccination allows people to be responsible for their own health. There are benefits from both policies and the arguments between them remain subject to debate within and without the scientific community, both nationally and internationally. The aim of this study is to assess the opinions of those who actually work in the Vaccination Service.

Methods

The survey was carried out using a self-administered standardised anonymous questionnaire given to all of the Vaccination Service employees in the Apulia Region.

Results

Of 302 completed questionnaire replies, 4.4% stated that mandatory vaccination should be abandoned now, 21.2% that it should be phased out, and 74.4% that it should be retained.

Conclusion

An educational program should be set up to explain to Vaccination staff the value and worth of voluntary compared to mandatory vaccination and why high vaccination rates do not have to depend on compulsion.