The Relationship Between Influenza Vaccination Habits and Location of Vaccination

Published in: PLOS ONE, 2014

Posted on RAND.org on December 23, 2014

by Lori Uscher-Pines, Andrew W. Mulcahy, Jürgen Maurer, Katherine M. Harris

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Research Question

  1. What is the relationship between regularly getting an annual influenza vaccination and the location where the patient receives the vaccination?

OBJECTIVE: Although use of non-medical settings for vaccination such as retail pharmacies has grown in recent years, little is known about how various settings are used by individuals with different vaccination habits. We aimed to assess the relationship between repeated, annual influenza vaccination and location of vaccination. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 4,040 adults in 2010. METHODS: We fielded a nationally representative survey using an online research panel operated by Knowledge Networks. The completion rate among sampled panelists was 73%. RESULTS: 39% of adults reported that they have never received a seasonal influenza vaccination. Compared to those who were usually or always vaccinated from year to year, those who sometimes or rarely received influenza vaccinations were significantly more likely to be vaccinated in a medical setting in 2009–2010. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that while medical settings are the dominant location for vaccination overall, they play an especially critical role in serving adults who do not regularly receive vaccinations. By exploring vaccination habits, we can more appropriately choose among interventions designed to encourage the initiation vs. maintenance of desired behaviors.

Key Findings

  • Medical settings are still the most common venue for vaccinations.
  • Those who have been rarely vaccinated are more likely to receive a vaccination in a medical setting.
  • Workplaces and retail locations disproportionately serve those who are regularly vaccinated.

Research conducted by

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