Annual influenza epidemics are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality, especially in elderly and in those with underlying diseases. During the global COVID-19 pandemic WHO and CDC have emphasized the importance of reducing risk of influenza virus spread and protecting high risk patient groups from complications caused by the influenza virus. Influenza vaccine may also reduce the burden on healthcare systems while we wait for a COVID-19 vaccine. Although the influenza vaccine has been around for a while, there are still many who question the efficiency, safety and usefulness of it. The aim of this research is to study the attitude of the Latvian adult population towards influenza vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic. A quantitative, cross-sectional study based on an anonymous online survey consisting of 12 questions. Data was analysed by using t-test and Pearson correlation. From the 522 respondents, 51.9% were 26 to 35 years old, more than a half of them (55%) live in Riga and its surroundings, 68.4% have higher education. 53.4% have had an influenza virus infection during their lifetime, 50.4% have never received an influenza vaccine. 36% have already received or are planning to receive a vaccine against influenza this season, 64% do not plan to vaccinate. 13.4% of the respondents decided to get the influenza vaccine, due to COVID-19. Main reasons for not wanting to be vaccinated are lack of trust in the effectiveness of the vaccine, fear of vaccine side effects and the fact that the influenza vaccine is optional. Major part of the respondents do not support influenza vaccination, but almost a half support the vaccination or have changed their attitude towards it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data shows lack of knowledge about influenza infection, influenza vaccine and vaccine side effects, therefore further educational campaigns should be developed for the general population.
- 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)