“A year ago, during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, we conducted a cross-sectional study on a representative sample of 2,523 people of age to understand the main drivers of willingness or reluctance to receive the flu vaccination. The study showed that younger subjects, less wealthy from an economic point of view and who have never had the flu vaccination, were more reluctant to declare that they want to get the vaccine ”. This was stated by Alexander Domnich, of the Hygiene Uo of the Policlinico San Martino Irccs hospital in Genoa during the presentation of “Influenza Thermometer”, the permanent observatory conducted by Swg with the support of Seqirus, created with the aim of clarifying and promote immunization campaigns, presented today to the press during the press briefing which was also attended by Riccardo Grassi, Swg Research Director and Maura Cambiaggi, General Manager Seqirus Italy.
According to Domnich, the reasons behind this reluctance to be immunized against seasonal flu are various: “First of all – he maintains – the flu vaccine is recommended for the elderly over 60, for younger people but at risk because they suffer from certain diseases. In addition, the young and healthy person can be vaccinated against the flu but, if they want, they must do so at their own expense. And despite the fact that a vaccine costs as much as a shampoo, the young person will prefer to buy the latter without problems rather than pay to get immunized against the seasonal flu ”.
However, the scenario is changing. “One year after the first cross-sectional survey (May 2020) – Domnich recalled – we carried out a second study, this time longitudinal, on the same representative sample, from which we found that with regard to influenza vaccination in the Italian population in the season 2020-2021, the highest influenza vaccination coverage in over 65s, equal to 91.7% (the optimal target is 95%), was reached in Sicily, where it is mandatory for some categories of subjects. But more generally, comparing the data relating to the people who declared to receive the vaccination in the last season, with that of those who said they were interested in the next one (2021-2022) which will start in early October, we have noticed a relative increase 10 percent, a very important figure. The same increase was found in all age groups, starting from 35 years ”.
Hence, confidence in vaccines has increased significantly. “The pandemic has certainly played a role in this – confirms Domnich -. Not surprisingly, the survey shows a positive attitude towards the flu vaccination or Covid-19 which has been associated with a greater propensity to get vaccinated against the flu in the 2021-2022 season. Furthermore, most subjects (69%) would prefer to receive the flu and Covid-19 vaccination at the same time or receive a combination vaccine. In addition, personalized influenza vaccines have been associated with a more than 2 times greater propensity to get vaccinated next season ”.