'Emotion' is key in encouraging uptake of flu vaccine

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New research carried out by Kingston University has found that connecting emotionally with healthcare workers (HCWs) to understand the reasons why some may be hesitant to get their flu jab, and leading by example, are effective in improving flu vaccination uptake.

The study analysed HCWs across Europe and in the UK in research which highlighted the following key findings.

  • Connecting on an emotional level to understand why HCWs may be hesitant to get the flu jab can be effective in alleviating concerns, rather than facts and statistics alone.
  • Older HCWs are more likely to get vaccinated against the flu and advocate for others to do so.
  • HCWs are more likely to get vaccinated if they knew their line manager had been vaccinated.
  • 32 per cent of surveyed HCWs were unsure about getting the flu vaccination.

Many flu campaigns work closely with staff, but here are some recommendations for any trusts looking to improve flu vaccination uptake effectively.

  • Emotive case studies can help staff resonate with why to get their flu jab. Our #jabathon film follows the poignant story of identical twins Sam and Helen. Helen fell severely ill with flu after she didn’t get her flu jab.
  • Why not ask senior leaders who have had their jab to advocate for others to do so? Our seven elements for a successful campaign infographic, which was recently found to help trusts in increasing their uptake, has  more information on gaining support and buy-in from the board to the ward.
  • Tailor your flu campaign communications and consider generational differences. Our communications toolkit can support you in effectively communicating your flu campaign.
  • Actively listen and engage with your staff, as well as, addressing any concerns they may have. Further support on effective staff engagement can be found on the NHS Employers website.

Read more about the Kingston University led research on the Kingston University website and read the full research paper in the medical journal, Vaccine.

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