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Opportunistic influenza vaccination in the home: broadening access in isolated times
  1. Lauren Claire Nisbet1,
  2. Annie M Cobbledick2,3,
  3. Tessa E Smith1,
  4. Penelope A Bryant1,4,5,
  5. Joanna Lawrence1,4,5
  1. 1 Hospital-in-the-Home, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Immunisation Clinic, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 Pharmacy, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4 Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5 Infection and Immunity, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joanna Lawrence, Hospital-in-the-Home, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia; joanna.lawrence{at}


Background Influenza is a vaccine-preventable infection that causes serious illness. The mandate to prevent an influenza epidemic has increased with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, isolation restrictions have reduced interactions with healthcare professionals. We aimed to determine whether these barriers could be overcome by offering vaccination via an ambulatory setting for the first time.

Methods During a 12-week period, patients receiving care through the Hospital-in-the-Home programme were offered immunisation during their home visit. Logistical cold chain barriers were addressed, and patient acceptance was measured.

Results Cooler boxes with temperature loggers were designed to monitor the cold chain. 157 eligible patients were contacted, of whom 96 (61%) consented and received in-home injectable influenza vaccine, with no major adverse events. 52/96 (54%) were first-time influenza vaccine recipients. Most refusals (28/41, 68%) were for immunisation concerns, not home administration.

Conclusion This pilot shows ambulatory influenza vaccination is feasible, safe and overcomes some barriers.

  • nursing care
  • epidemiology
  • health services research

Data availability statement

De-identified data are available on reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

De-identified data are available on reasonable request.

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.