Iria Preza1, Erida Nelaj1, Erjon Muhaxhiri1, Albana Fico1,2, Silva Bino1,2
1Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania;
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania.
Aim: Influenza immunization program for health care workers was established in 2014, which includes vaccine procurement from the government, monitoring and vaccine coverage for this target group. All health care workers, as other target groups are recommended to get the influenza vaccine, each year. This vaccine is offered for free in the primary care level, for all the recommended risk groups. Presentation of influenza vaccination coverage of health care workers at the primary care level provides an insight on acceptance and vaccine use.
Methods: Data analysis for the influenza immunization season 2019-2020 are presented for the health care workers at the primary care level.
Results: For the season 2019-2020, national influenza vaccination coverage for health care workers at primary care level, is 80 %. This includes vaccination of medical (nurses and physicians) and non-medical health care workers. Nurses at primary care level get vaccinated more than physicians. Influenza vaccination coverage for nurses is 85 %, for physicians is 72 %, and for non-medical health workers is 66 %.
Conclusion: This coverage shows a well acceptance of influenza vaccine, among this important risk group. Health care workers are the link and provide care for the other recommended risk groups. By vaccinating themselves they provide indirect protection for the patients and other close relatives. Nevertheless, the data also reveals that there are still some gaps, which may lead to influenza vaccine susceptibility. Therefore, updating information with evidence based facts and conducting continues training on the importance of influenza prevention through vaccination is crucial in debunking myths and misconceptions.
Keywords: health care workers, influenza vaccine, influenza immunization, primary care.