Prevalence and determinants of influenza vaccination in Australians aged 40 years and over--a national survey.
Horby PW., Williams A., Burgess MA., Wang H.
OBJECTIVES: To determine influenza vaccination coverage in 2001 in Australian adults aged > or = 40 years, assess awareness of and attitudes to influenza vaccine, factors associated with vaccination, and estimate uptake of free vaccine provided to those aged > or = 65 years. METHODS: National computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) survey in October/November 2001. RESULTS: Interviews were completed with 5,266 people aged > or = 65 and 2,415 aged 40-64 years. Thirty per cent of selected households participated. Overall, 67% of respondents believed that the vaccine was somewhat to very effective in preventing influenza. Seventy-eight per cent of those aged > or = 65 years reported influenza vaccination; 89% had received it free. Independent predictors of vaccination were: belief that influenza vaccine is effective in preventing influenza (OR=13.5, 95% CI 10.6-17.2); and the presence of chronic disease (OR=1.6, 95% CI 1.3-2.0). Overall, 24% of those aged 40-64 years were vaccinated; only 34% of those who met any of the criteria for vaccination (medical risk factor, at-risk occupation, or being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) reported vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccine coverage was high in those aged > or = 65 years, but coverage of those at-risk aged 40-64 years remained suboptimal. Immunisation against influenza was influenced more by beliefs about the vaccine's effectiveness and existing medical risk factors, rather than socio-demographic factors such as gender and income.