Background: Healthcare students that refuse to get vaccinated may expose themselves and their patients to several vaccine-preventable diseases, especially during outbreaks or at peak epidemic activity, becoming a threat to themselves and their patients. This study aimed to assess their attitudes towards and perception of vaccines and vaccination. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was shared with medical students, pharmacy students and medical residents in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Florence (Italy), in February 2021. The questionnaire contained 39 questions with open, multi-choice, yes-no, Likert scale answers. A Vaccine Hesitancy Index (VHI) was then calculated. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed. Results: A total of 473 students participated in this study. All students were in favour of vaccination (99.2%) but a relatively low number of participants judged their level of knowledge about vaccinations as "good" (21.8%) or "excellent" (0.6%). About half of students declared that they are not adequately trained during their academic courses. The VHI showed low levels of vaccine hesitancy (mean ± SD 0.38 ± 0.16); moreover, the students were willing to get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 when recommended (88.2%) and thought that these vaccines are generally safe. Few students considered the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines (13.1%) and the procedures for evaluating clinical trials for marketing authorisation of these vaccines (12.9%) too fast to guarantee their efficacy and safety. Conclusions: Since vaccination and vaccine hesitancy and acceptance topics are being paid increasing attention by the population, new strategies to increase future healthcare professionals' willingness to promote vaccination and get vaccinated, as well as knowledge on vaccines and vaccination, will be of the utmost importance to fight vaccine preventable diseases.

Attitudes and Perceptions of University Students in Healthcare Settings towards Vaccines and Vaccinations Strategies during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period in Italy / Bechini, Angela; Vannacci, Alfredo; Crescioli, Giada; Lombardi, Niccolò; Del Riccio, Marco; Albora, Giuseppe; Shtylla, Jonida; Masoni, Marco; Guelfi, Maria Renza; Bonanni, Paolo; Boccalini, Sara. - In: VACCINES. - ISSN 2076-393X. - ELETTRONICO. - 10:(2022), pp. 1288-1298. [10.3390/vaccines10081288]

Attitudes and Perceptions of University Students in Healthcare Settings towards Vaccines and Vaccinations Strategies during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period in Italy

Bechini, Angela
Conceptualization
;
Vannacci, Alfredo
Conceptualization
;
Crescioli, Giada
Formal Analysis
;
Lombardi, Niccolò
Formal Analysis
;
Del Riccio, Marco;Albora, Giuseppe
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Shtylla, Jonida
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Masoni, Marco
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Guelfi, Maria Renza
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Bonanni, Paolo
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Boccalini, Sara
2022

Abstract

Background: Healthcare students that refuse to get vaccinated may expose themselves and their patients to several vaccine-preventable diseases, especially during outbreaks or at peak epidemic activity, becoming a threat to themselves and their patients. This study aimed to assess their attitudes towards and perception of vaccines and vaccination. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was shared with medical students, pharmacy students and medical residents in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Florence (Italy), in February 2021. The questionnaire contained 39 questions with open, multi-choice, yes-no, Likert scale answers. A Vaccine Hesitancy Index (VHI) was then calculated. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed. Results: A total of 473 students participated in this study. All students were in favour of vaccination (99.2%) but a relatively low number of participants judged their level of knowledge about vaccinations as "good" (21.8%) or "excellent" (0.6%). About half of students declared that they are not adequately trained during their academic courses. The VHI showed low levels of vaccine hesitancy (mean ± SD 0.38 ± 0.16); moreover, the students were willing to get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 when recommended (88.2%) and thought that these vaccines are generally safe. Few students considered the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines (13.1%) and the procedures for evaluating clinical trials for marketing authorisation of these vaccines (12.9%) too fast to guarantee their efficacy and safety. Conclusions: Since vaccination and vaccine hesitancy and acceptance topics are being paid increasing attention by the population, new strategies to increase future healthcare professionals' willingness to promote vaccination and get vaccinated, as well as knowledge on vaccines and vaccination, will be of the utmost importance to fight vaccine preventable diseases.
10
1288
1298
Goal 3: Good health and well-being
Bechini, Angela; Vannacci, Alfredo; Crescioli, Giada; Lombardi, Niccolò; Del Riccio, Marco; Albora, Giuseppe; Shtylla, Jonida; Masoni, Marco; Guelfi, Maria Renza; Bonanni, Paolo; Boccalini, Sara
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1286382
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