The level of vaccination coverage is the result of the interplay of many factors: the commitment, motivation and organization of healthcare workers, policy decisions at the level of the healthcare system and the awareness of patients themselves. Nonetheless, the role of the healthcare worker is crucial. It was recently shown that when a doctor or nurse recommended vaccination to positively predisposed patients, 87% of patients got vaccinated. Moreover, even when patients had a negative attitude towards vaccination, 70% of them still got vaccinated if their healthcare provider recommended it. In contrast, when patients had a positive attitude but their physician did not recommend vaccination, only 8% got vaccinated. A proactive healthcare worker, therefore, has a huge impact on the likelihood of a patient to become vaccinated.
The second most important driver for influenza vaccination is reimbursement. There is an obvious correlation between lack of funding and dramatically lower vaccination rates.
A third way to improve vaccine use is the implementation of wide and effective public communication and education campaigns on influenza and influenza vaccines. After all, patients will then also ask to be vaccinated.