Vaccine hesitancy in adults: a multi-center study on primary healthcare users' attitudes in Greece

Philippe-Richard Domeyer, Dimitrios Gougourelas, Emmanuil Chatzimanolis, Anna Mpotskariova, Georgios Zervas, Dimitrios Kagelidis, Panagiota Bouga, Vasileios Gkizlis, Aristofanis Paganas, Zoi Tsimtsiou

Keywords: Vaccine hesitancy; vaccine safety; vaccine efficacy

Background:
WHO declared vaccine misinformation as one of the main health threats for 2019.

Research questions:
The aim of this study was to explore primary healthcare users' attitudes towards adults' vaccination in order to investigate possible barriers in the effort to raise national vaccination coverage.

Method:
In this multi-centre, mixed-methods study- conducted at 23 Primary Care units- for 30 consecutive working days, a pre-tested questionnaire was administered to three randomly selected patients who visited the practice each day. Informed consent was signed prior to their participation.

Results:
A total of 1571 patients were recruited (75.9% response rate); mean┬▒ SD age was 59.8┬▒15.2years and 61.4% (965) were female. Among them, 37.8% (594) declared that vaccination is another way for pharmaceutical companies to gain financial profit. Concerns about side effects, mistrust in pharmaceutical companies, misinformation about immunization and disbelief in vaccines' efficacy were among the commonest reasons to explain vaccination hesitancy.

Conclusions:
A person-centered approach within primary healthcare and provision of appropriate information about vaccines' safety and efficacy are considered crucial to advocate against the spread of vaccine misinformation and increase vaccination coverage.

Points for discussion:
Detection of barriers to vaccination

How to overcome vaccination hesitancy