Background: Thea ttitudes, knowledge, and experience of health personnel regarding vaccines and preventable diseases contribute importantlyto the success of vaccination programs.
Aim: This study aimed to valuate the opinions of healthpersonnel involved in the care of children on the introduction of various new and older vaccines to the Swedish childhood vaccination. We particularly examined the knowledge of varicella diseaseas chickenpox and shingles and attitudes toward the varicellavaccine.
Method: We created and administered aquestionnaire on vaccineprioritization forseveral vaccines, including hepatitis A and B,BCG(BacilleCalmette-Guérin) vaccine to preventtuberculosis, pneumococcal, meningococcal, HPV (human papilloma virus), rotavirus, influenza,respiratory syncytial virus,andTBE(tick bornencephalitis virus),and also explored health personnel’s knowledge about the VZV (varicella zoster virus) vaccine and its diseases. In 2006, the study targeted 600 nurses and physicians in Gothenburg, Sweden, whereas the current study in 2012 followed up with 160 school healthcare personnel.
Results: The 2006 questionnaire generated 191/600 responses (32%), compared withthe 2012 follow-up questionnaire, which generated 40/160 (25%) responses from school health care personnel. Medical personnel ranked vaccination against hepatitis B highestin both studies. However, our data showed an important shift in attitude regarding HPV and rotavirus vaccination, which ranked lowestin 2006 but higher priority in 2012. Respondents also gave high priority to BCG. In 2006,only 34 of 138 respondents (25%) knew that a varicella vaccine was available, and universal varicella vaccination was generally ranked lower compared with other various vaccines. Additionally, pediatricians and personnel from infectious diseases department in the hospital having direct experience with these verity of varicella and zoster diseases were more likely to support universal varicella vaccination. Interestingly, in 2012 only one third of school healthcarepersonnel favored universal varicella vaccination.The health professionals xpressed a general demand for information and in-depth nowledge about the newer vaccines.
Conclusion: If Swedish authorities decide to implement universal varicella vaccine into the current successful vaccination program for children, relevant healthcare personnel will require further education about VZV vaccineand disease
2014. , 41 p.
2014-12-09, Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Göteborg, Sweden, 16:02 (Swedish)