Seasonal Influenza Vaccination on Children During COVID-19 Pandemic: Addressing Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Pediatricians and Pediatric Nurses

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JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC INFECTION, vol.16, no.3, pp.134-142, 2022 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/ced.20229749
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE
  • Page Numbers: pp.134-142
  • Keywords: Influenza vaccine, vaccine hesitancy, nurse, pediatrician, HEALTH-CARE WORKERS
  • Yozgat Bozok University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Influenza is a viral infection that causes pandemics just like the COVID-19 infection and has similar clinical features, making differen-tial diagnosis difficult. Although influenza epidemics can be prevented by vaccination, hesitancy about vaccination is the biggest obstacle to preventing influenza epidemics. This study aimed to evaluate pediatri-cians' and nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding season-al influenza vaccination in children during the COVID-19 pandemic and investigate the underlying causes of vaccine hesitancy against influenza vaccination.Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted be-tween February and April 2021. The study sampling consisted 76 pedi-atricians and 63 pediatric nurses who volunteered to participate in the study. Data were collected through survey questionnaires prepared by the researchers. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test were used for data analysis.Results: In this sample, 52.6% of the pediatricians and 23.8% of the nurs-es believed that children should be vaccinated against influenza during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although 73.7% of the pediatricians and 33.3% of the pediatric nurses advised pediatric patients to get vaccinated against influenza, they did not get their children vaccinated. The hesi-tancy reasons included worrying about their children getting infected with COVID-19 in healthcare institutions, distrust in the efficacy of the influenza vaccine, worrying about the possible side effects, influenza vaccines not being included in the national vaccination program, believ-ing that influenza is not a high-risk disease, lack of information about the vaccine, thinking that that influenza vaccine contains harmful substanc-es, and not having time because of busy work schedule.Conclusion: In-service training on influenza vaccination should be orga-nized among pediatricians and nurses to eliminate vaccine-related hes-itations. Policy recommendations for the inclusion of influenza vaccines in the national vaccination program are important in terms of preventing influenza-related diseases in children and vaccine hesitations seen by healthcare professionals.