Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

School

Public Health

Advisor

Diana Naser

Abstract

Influenza is a preventable infectious disease, against which vaccination is the primary means of protection. Health care workers (HCW) are among the most vulnerable to the illness and are likely to be sources of infection transmission while caring for patients. Circumstantial evidence suggests higher rates of vaccination coverage by HCW will coincide with a lower incidence of influenza transmission, yet a gap remains in the literature regarding governing health agencies' (i.e., licensing boards, medical and nursing associations) influence on the influenza vaccination practices of their constituents. Moreover, discrepancies exist between governing health agencies' and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee's recommendations on mandatory influenza vaccination for HCW. The main purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to explore the relationship between influenza vaccination uptake by HCW and guidance from governing health agencies to vaccinate. The health belief model and social cognitive theory were used to identify the most influential determinant for HCW to vaccinate against influenza. The sample consisted of 388 HCW who provided direct patient care at the same hospital. Data were analyzed using Fisher's exact test. Study findings suggest that a workplace mandate for influenza vaccination has an influence on HCW uptake of the vaccine and that governing agencies' lack of uniformity on the matter has minimal impact on their constituents' beliefs and behavior. It is recommended that a universal policy be adopted for health agencies' implementation of an influenza vaccine mandate, which could lead to positive social change by supporting preventive self-care practices, minimizing spread of the disease to workers and patients, and maintaining workplace productivity.