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Vaccination Competence


Anne Nikula, Nikulantie 20, FIN 07590 Huuvari, Finland. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Objective: Vaccinating is one of the most significant methods of health promotion in the world. The purpose of this study was to describe vaccination competence from the perspective of professionals, clients, and students.

Design: A cross-sectional interview study.

Sample: Participants (n=40) were public health nurses, physicians, nursing teachers and graduating public health nursing students, and vaccinated clients of various ages or vaccinated children's parents in Finland.

Measurements: Interview data were collected using semistructured interviews in focus groups and individual interviews, and were analyzed by content analysis.

Results: The participants pointed out that the competent vaccinator (CV) displays distinctive personal qualities, possesses the necessary attributes required in the vaccinator-client relationship, and is authorized to administer vaccinations. The competent vaccinator is a health care professional who is committed to vaccinating and who fosters social awareness of vaccinations. The competent implementation of the vaccination procedure consists of the vaccinator's actions before, during, and after the vaccination. The outcomes of a competent implementation are divided into immediate and long-term outcomes.

Conclusions: Vaccination competence is a broad entity. These results may be utilized for improving the practical implementation of vaccinations, administration, education, and research of vaccination procedures.