Science research news Return to previous page
Article Released Thu-19th-November-2009 12:51 GMT
Contact: Ruth Institution: Nature Publishing Group
 Swine flu or your piggy bank?

A cross-sectional survey shows that Hong Kong people are not keen on large-scale vaccination against swine flu unless it is free


By Felix Cheung

A cross-sectional survey shows that Hong Kong people are not keen on large-scale vaccination against swine flu unless it is free

Original article citation
Lau, J. T. F. et al. Acceptability of A/H1N1 vaccination during pandemic phase of influenza A/H1N1 in Hong Kong: population based cross sectional survey. Br. Med. J. 339, b4164 (2009).

Public health: Swine flu or your piggy bank?

Many governments have announced plans for vaccination against the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus — more commonly known as swine flu. The government of Hong Kong, for example, has passed legislation to purchase five million doses of influenza A (H1N1) vaccine for a large-scale immunization campaign planned for launch at the end of the year. Now, a survey conducted by Joseph Tak Fai Lau and co-workers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong1 shows that people are not keen on vaccination if the cost involved is high.

The researchers randomly interviewed 301 Hong Kong residents by phone to investigate their intention on taking up the vaccination against the influenza A (H1N1) virus under five hypothetical scenarios. Nearly half of the participants said that they are highly likely to take up vaccination if it is free.

The prevalence of uptake drops, however, if the vaccination incurs a cost: the rate of 'highly likely' responses decreased to 36% if the vaccine costs up to $100 HKD ($13 USD), 24% if the cost is $101–200 HKD, and just 15% if the vaccine costs more than $200 HKD. Furthermore, only 5% of the participants answered 'highly likely' if the vaccine had no clinical data to support its efficacy and safety.

Lastly, only 16% believed that everyone in Hong Kong should take up vaccination; 32% of the participants thought that a Hong Kong-wide vaccination is unnecessary.

The authors of this work are from:
School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Reference

1. Lau, J. T. F. et al. Acceptability of A/H1N1 vaccination during pandemic phase of influenza A/H1N1 in Hong Kong: population based cross sectional survey. Br. Med. J. 339, b4164 (2009).

Associated links

Keywords associated to this article:
Create Account...