Dr. Mulham Fouad Korani
Joint Program of Family Medicine – Makkah Al-Mokarramah – 2010
Background: The World Health Organization declared that a global pandemic of influenza A H1N1 was underway. This action was a reflection of the spread of the new H1N1 virus, not the severity of illness caused by the virus. The most important duty against pandemic H1N1 was prevention, which means the adherence of hygienic rules and the use of vaccination. Based on epidemiologic data and worldwide experiences on influenza vaccination, both seasonal and H1N1 vaccinations were recommended for anyone 6 months of age or older who is at risk of becoming ill or of transmitting the viruses to others. Overall, the rates and seriousness of a possible complication of influenza vaccination are much smaller than the risk of serious complications and mortality of influenza infection.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of swine flu immunization status as well as factors associated with acceptance of swine flu vaccine among adult Saudi patients visiting the general clinic at al-Sharaee primary health care center in Makkah 2010.
Methodology: This was a cross sectional analytic study among 200 adult Saudi patients visiting the general clinic at Al- Sharaee primary health care center in Makah , Jun 2010. Data were collected from participants themselves in the presence of the researcher using a pre-designed questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of dependent variable (Swine flu Immunization status) and independent variables (age, gender, educational level, marital status, job status, home/living, barriers hindering factors (fear of injection , side effects, busy, fear of infection, desire to avoid medication, belief the vaccine was not effective, not safe, inadequate policies and because there was no obligation from ministry of health).
Results: A total of 200 adult Saudi patients (100 males and 100 females) visiting the general clinic at Al-Sharaee primary health care center in Makkah, 2010 were recruited to explore their swine flu immunization status. Overall, the age of the participants ranged between 18 and 66 with a mean of 33.96±10.88 years. Only 19% of the participants had a history of receiving seasonal influenza vaccine. The majority of the participants claimed that they were at risk of getting swine flu infection (72.5%). Main sources of information were Ministry of Health (54.0%) and mass media (53.0%). The study illustrates that 18.5% of participants from both genders were vaccinated against Swine flu. Twenty-three and fourteen percent of males and females respectively gave a history of Swine flu vaccination with no statistically significant difference. Regarding reasons for swine flu vaccine refusal, concern about vaccine side effects was the most reported response from both genders (76.6% and 57.0% of males and females respectively) and overall (66.3%). Believing that the vaccine is not safe was the second reported response from both genders (45.5% and 33.7% of males and females respectively) and overall (39.3%). The difference between males and females was statistically significant (P<0.05).
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, Swine flu vaccination rate was low although majority of participants claimed that they were at risk of swine flu infection. Most of the participants believed that the vaccine was not safe. However, it was determined that reasons to refuse were mostly the vaccine’s side effects and not believing in the vaccine’s protectiveness.