Military Institute of Medicine, Poland
Title: Factors affecting the decision concerning influenza vaccination among students of the Military University of Technology in Warsaw/Poland in the last two epidemic seasons
Biography: Agnieszka Woźniak Kosek
Vaccination against influenza is one of the most beneficial elements of prophylaxis against this viral disease.
Questionnaire surveys were conducted in the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 epidemic season in the population of Polish students aged 19-22. The students were divided into two groups. The first 33-person group was asked to complete the questionnaire after giving a lecture on flu, the second group of 27 people filled out the questionnaire before giving the presentation.
Most of the answers were given by men, women accounted for 11.6%, which results from the specificity of studies at the technical military college. The survey contains information about the scope and purpose of the study, and 15 research questions divided into three thematic blocks. A high percentage of 67.2% of correct answers was obtained in both groups according to which the best time for vaccination is the beginning of autumn. People who answered affirmatively that they had heard about post-influenza complications were in the first group as much as 90.9% and in the second group only 67% of respondents. Respondents also demonstrated diverse knowledge of data on annual mortality associated with the threat of influenza. The correct answer is that in the world about half a million people die every year from flu and its complications, 81.8% of respondents in the first group reported, while in the second group only 14.8%. Probably such an effect was caused by the knowledge that the students acquired through hearing a report on influenza. The analyzes show that out of the 60 people participating in the study no one vaccinated against influenza in both epidemic seasons. The reasons for not including vaccination primarily concerned the lack of faith in the effectiveness of the vaccine, the belief that vaccination does not protect against illness and fear of adverse reactions.
Despite the appeals and recommendations of many expert organizations, the state of vaccination among young people against influenza remains very low. In Poland, it is estimated that the percentage of vaccinated general population is around 3.7%. The level of influenza vaccination among WAT students is at a very low level in the analyzed period, no one in this group has taken vaccination. The analysis shows how important is the health education of students and how it can have a preventative impact on the perception of their health in the future.