BACKGROUND: Teachers play an essential role in the school community, and H1N1 vaccination of teachers is critical to protect not only themselves but also adolescents they come in contact within the classroom through herd immunity. School-aged children have a greater risk of developing H1N1 disease than seasonal influenza. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between attitudes toward H1N1 vaccination and vaccine acceptance among middle and high school teachers in rural Georgia.
METHODS: Participants were recruited from 2 counties participating in a school-based influenza vaccination intervention in rural Georgia. Data were collected from surveys distributed to middle and high school teachers in participating counties in September 2009 prior to implementing the interventions to increase vaccination against seasonal influenza. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the association between teachers' attitudes toward H1N1 vaccination and H1N1 vaccine acceptance, controlling for demographic variables.
RESULTS: Among participants, 52.9% indicated that they would get the H1N1 vaccine. In multivariate analyses, H1N1 vaccine acceptance was associated with male gender (odds ratio[OR] = 3.67, p = .016), fear of contracting H1N1 (OR = 3.18, p = .025), and receipt of a seasonal influenza vaccine in the past year (OR = 3.07, p = .031). H1N1 vaccine acceptance was not significantly associated with age, race, perceived severity of H1N1, belief that the H1N1 vaccine would cause illness, or talking about H1N1 with friends.
CONCLUSIONS: Teachers may play a pivotal role in school-based H1N1 vaccinations. Understanding and addressing teachers' attitudes toward H1N1 vaccination may assist in future immunization efforts.