Hepatitis B and influenza vaccines : important occupational vaccines differently perceived among medical students
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Vaccine / International Society for Vaccines. - Amsterdam
, p. 5111-5117
University of Antwerp
Healthcare personnel (HCP) are at risk from occupational exposure to airborne and bloodborne pathogens, and the risk of infection among HCP is greater than among the general population. The aim of the study was to characterize attitudes toward occupational recommended vaccines as well as the perception of risks of occupationally acquired infections. We surveyed 650 medical students to assess their perception of influenza and hepatitis B and their opinions and beliefs about influenza and hepatitis B vaccines. We found differences between pre-clinical and clinical students regarding the uptake of influenza and hepatitis B vaccines, about the chances of being occupationally infected with influenza or hepatitis B, and about the likelihood of suffering from severe side-effects following immunization. Interestingly, the risk perception varied drastically between the two vaccine-preventable diseases hepatitis B and influenza. Medical students rated the probability of contracting hepatitis B due to a work-related exposure and the severity of disease significantly higher than for influenza, and this may be an explanation for the greater acceptance of the hepatitis B vaccine. Furthermore, our findings suggest that medical students are frequently inaccurate in assessing their own risk level, and their specific knowledge about both diseases and the severity of these diseases proved to be unsatisfactory. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.