Influenza vaccine refusal in Israeli young adults Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to identify correlates of noncompliance with influenza immunization among young adults and to determine the reasons leading to immunization refusal. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed in 10 military bases during two consecutive annual Israel Defense Force influenza vaccination campaigns. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify independent correlates. Of 2,000 questionnaires distributed over two seasons, 942 were completed and returned. Of those, 401 respondents were not vaccinated either because of medical contraindication or for administrative reasons. The remaining 541 respondents who reported either receiving the vaccine or refusing to receive it were analyzed. Risk groups for vaccine refusal included older age (17.9% vs. 3.5% refusal rate) and officer rank (25.9% vs. 13.8% refusal rate). The main reasons for vaccine refusal differed significantly between officers and nonofficers (chi2 = 7.587, p = 0.023). Officers refused mainly (60%) because of fear of possible vaccine adverse effects, whereas nonofficers refused mainly (44.2%) because of disbelief in the vaccine's efficacy in preventing illness. Officers serve as a negative role model in this case, and efforts directed toward dissemination of evidence-based information regarding vaccine-related adverse effects should be introduced to increase vaccination rates in this group.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007