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The provision of influenza vaccine to patients over 65 years by general practitioners.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Irish medical journal
Publication Date
Volume
90
Issue
6
Pages
231–232
Identifiers
PMID: 9611925
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Influenza vaccination for all elderly persons is cost effective. Guidelines in Ireland recommend the vaccine for those with chronic illness and to the elderly in care. The aims of this study are to identify how influenza vaccine is provided to elderly patients and to get GPs opinions on what barriers there are to providing the vaccine to persons 65+ years. Of the 143 GPs contacted 117 (81.8%) replied, of whom 116 (99.1%) provide the vaccine to their patients. Ninety nine (85.3%) believe it to be effective in preventing influenza, and only 8 (6.9%) have reservations about the vaccine. Eighteen (15.5%) GPs had a difficulty in identifying those to be vaccinated and only 11 (9.5%) had a computerised system to assist them. Twenty two (19.0%) GPs had difficulty in getting sufficient vaccine for their patients. Ninety six (82.8%) GPs make the vaccine available to those for whom it is recommended and of these 61 make it available to all patients over 65 years. The main patient barriers to an influenza vaccination programme are the patients fear of getting influenza from the vaccine and that many patients do not consider the vaccine to be of value. Barriers identified for GPs are the low level of reimbursement to GPs for vaccinating eligible patients and the lack of proper systems that help identify and contact those who should be getting the vaccine. All of the barriers identified should be easy to overcome so that those who require influenza vaccine can reap the health and social gains that our health services advocate.

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