Taiwan Elderly People’s Willingness to Receive Government Promoted and Funded Flu Shots – Results

Hui-Ping Huang

2007 Vol.23 NO.12

Correspondence Author: Tsung-Hsi Wang


Understanding what elderly people know about the government’s “ Free Flu Shots for Elderly People” plan, what channels would be best for dissemination of information, and the reasons for people to accept or refuse influenza vaccinations is required to guide us in the promotion of the influenza vaccine policy. We conducted a telephone survey on the target population of the free influenza vaccine policy. Hopefully, the findings would enable us to better understand the knowledge of the elderly people regarding the policy, to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy, for the development of effective information dissemination strategies for the future.
The objective of this study is to find out what the elderly people in Taiwan and Fuchien know and need regarding influenza. This study targeted people aged 65 and older. The survey was conducted during the week of October 3 to 11, 2007. Random number dialing was used for this survey. We completed a total of 1,115 effective samples. The samples were weighted by sex, age, and city/county of residence. The main findings were: 63% of the elderly population eligible toreceive the free shots indicated that they are plan to be vaccinated this year; the most important factor for increased willingness to vaccinate was age, i.e. older people were more likely to be vaccinated; for people who believed that vaccination was beneficial, willingness to vaccinate was 20.35 times higher compared to people who believed that vaccination was not beneficial (95% CI = 10.26~40.34); for people who had no obstacles against vaccination, willingness to vaccinate was 7.99 times higher compared to people who had obstacles against vaccination (95%CI = 5.03~12.68); for people who believed influenza to be a serious disease, willingness to vaccinated was 1.88 times higher compared to people who believed that vaccination is not beneficial (95% CI = 1.07~3.01).
Conclusion: Our study showed that 63% of the elderly plans to be vaccinated this year, while 16% were undecided. Only 22% of the elderly population indicated that they do not plan on being vaccinated. Therefore, we are very optimistic about this campaign and might be improved. We would like to recommend using “rational appeal” and “simple messages” to emphasize the safety and benefits of the flu vaccine in vaccination campaigns. In addition, healthcare workers from local health stations may disseminate the message while doing home visits or routine physical examinations for the elderly and during various community outreach programs.
Key words: influenza or flu, vaccine, influenza vaccine, vaccination, the elderly.