Health care workers should be routinely and annually vaccinated against influenza for of epidemiological reasons. Persons who take care of children aged 0–59 months belong to the same group because of the same indications. Pediatric nurses have at least twice the reason to be vaccinated.
Aim The aim of the study was to determine the general perception and coverage of the influenza vaccine among pediatric nurses.
Methods The self-administrated survey was completed by 386 nurses, among them 189 were pediatric nurses. The survey was validated (kappa score 0.7). The median age of the nurses was 34 years (SD 2.4).
Results Among 189 pediatric nurse,s 32% had influenza vaccinations occasionally, 11% annually, and 57% avoided this vaccination. The main reason for not taking vaccination was fear of the possible side effects (68%), disbelieving the effectiveness of the vaccination (62%) and perception of influenza as a mild disease not requiring prevention (45%). Among nurses who took vaccination annually, 82% did it because of willingness to avoid the illness and its complications, 8% because they belonged to a risk group according to medical conditions, and 1.5% because of a willingness to protect patients.
12% nurses thought vaccination against influenza was an ethical duty, 88% considered this procedure as a medical condition.
Conclusions The influenza vaccine coverage among pediatric nurses was low (11%). Generally, influenza vaccination was considered under medical rather than ethical conditions. The necessity of vaccination against influenza should be strongly emphasized among health care workers, including nurses.