Faten Al Tasseh*, Soha Ghanem, Amal Naous and Mariam Rajab


Background: Vaccination is one of the most important components of preventive medicine which remains a public health concern due to its low coverage rates. Influenza vaccination is still being missed due to inadequate physicians’ knowledge including misconception about influenza infection, severity of the infection, and the perception of ineffectiveness of the vaccine. Objective: This survey was designed to assess knowledge, attitude, practice, and barriers among Lebanese pediatricians and physicians from other specialties regarding influenza vaccination. Methods: This was a cross sectional study through which anonymous questionnaires were distributed to Lebanese physicians. The survey was conducted at different conferences in all Lebanese governorates between September 2017 and December 2017. Data collected included demographics, attitude, immunization practice, and actual knowledge. Descriptive statistical methods were used to evaluate the responses. Results: The response rate was 87.2% (1008/1155). Among pediatricians, 79.5% recommended influenza vaccination for pregnant women compared to 41.3% of physicians from other specialties (p-value <0.0001). Moreover, 79.7% of pediatricians received the influenza vaccine annually in comparison to 43.9% among other specialties (p-value <0.0001). Guidelines for the appropriate age of influenza vaccination were known by 97% of pediatricians while only 43.2% of other specialties knew them. Influenza vaccination is given by 82.2% of pediatricians and 22.6% of other specialties (p-value <0.0001). Most of the pediatricians who do not recommend influenza vaccine refuse it due to its side effects. Conclusion: Our study showed poor adherence to AAP and CDC regarding influenza vaccination. Several knowledge gaps were found among Lebanese physicians in different specialties especially non pediatricians. Measures to be taken include developing strategies for promoting vaccination through emphasizing on guidelines and spreading awareness to cover all specialties and not only pediatricians.

Keywords: Influenza vaccine, Lebanese physicians, Pediatricians, Other Specialties

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