Every year, about 20% of health care workers (HCWs) acquire influenza, continuing to work and encouraging virus spreading. Influenza vaccination coverage rates and absenteeism from work among HCWs of the University Hospital (UH) of Palermo were analyzed before and after the implementation of several initiatives in order to increase HCWs’ awareness about influenza vaccination. Vaccines administration within hospital units, dedicated web pages on social media and on the UH of Palermo institutional web site, and mandatory compilation of a dissent form for those HCWs who refused vaccination were carried out during the last four influenza seasons. After the introduction of these strategies, influenza vaccination coverage went up from 5.2% (2014/2015 season) to 37.2% (2018/2019 season) (p<0.001), and mean age of vaccinated HCWs significantly decreased from 48.1 years (95% CI: 45.7–50.5) to 35.9 years (95% CI: 35.0–36.8). A reduction of working days lost due to acute sickness among HCWs of the UH of Palermo was observed. Fear of adverse reactions and not considering themselves as a high-risk group for contracting influenza were the main reasons reported by HCWs that refused vaccination. Strategies undertaken at the UH of Palermo allowed a significant increase in vaccination adherence and a significant reduction of absenteeism from work.
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