Assessment of Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccination among Health Sciences Students in Northeast Brazil: A Cross-Sectional Study

Author(s): Adriana Ramos Leite Matalobos, Luiza Ramos Leite Matalobos, Carlos Tomaz

Introduction: Influenza is a respiratory disease with high transmission capability that disseminates easily in seasonal epidemics, characterizing its global distribution. Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing the disease and morbidity, as it reduces the risk of horizontal transmission. Although research has explored influenza vaccination uptake in US and in Europe among college students and health care workers, there is a dearth of research in understanding influenza vaccination uptake and attitudes toward the vaccine among college students of the health sciences in Brazil.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the adherence to H1N1 vaccination campaigns among college students of health sciences in a private university in Brazil and to investigate the levels of knowledge, attitudes toward influenza vaccination and to identify the factors associated with reported seasonal influenza shots.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed among 353 students of five majors of health sciences - namely: Biomedicine, Nursing, Medicine, Psychology and Dentistry, at the University CEUMA, Campus Imperatriz - Maranhão, northeast of Brazil. Data collection (between July and August 2021) was performed using an online platform (Google Forms) questionnaire consisting of 15 multiple-choice questions to identify age, sex, marital status, housing conditions, undergraduate course, knowledge about the H1N1 vaccine and the reasons for its acceptance or refusal.

Results: Over 75% of the respondents were under the age of 24. Seventytwo percent declared themselves to be female; 62% white or Caucasian; 74% were medical students; 81% responded that they live with up to 4 people; 53% have health insurance, while 47% use public health services

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