The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently expanded annual influenza vaccination recommendations to include all children 6 months through 18 years of age. Adolescent attitudes toward influenza vaccination may play a key role in reaching this newly added age group. This study examined the association between attitudes toward influenza vaccination and intention to be vaccinated among rural adolescents. Data were collected from baseline surveys distributed to adolescents in September/October 2008, prior to the H1N1 influenza pandemic, in two counties participating in a school-based influenza vaccination intervention trial in rural Georgia (N=337). Survey items were based on constructs from the Health Belief Model and the Integrated Behavioral Model. Approximately one-third of participants (33.8%) intended to receive an influenza vaccination, 33.5% did not intend to be vaccinated and 28.8% were unsure. Controlling for background factors, intention to receive an influenza vaccination was associated with low perceived barriers [odds ratio (OR)=0.77, P < 0.001], injunctive norms (OR=1.23, P=0.002) and receipt of influenza vaccination in the past year (OR=6.21, P < 0.001). Findings suggest that perceived barriers and injunctive social norms may influence vaccination acceptance among rural adolescents. Future influenza vaccination efforts geared toward rural middle and high school students may benefit from addressing adolescent attitudes toward influenza vaccination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health