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Knowledge and attitude of patients and their partners in northern Palestinian hospitals towards seasonal influenza and influenza vaccination

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Abstract: Background seasonal influenza is a common highly infectious disease, which mainly affects the upper and lower respiratory tract of children and adults in winter. It is caused by a variety of different influenza viruses. In some cases, it may lead to serious complications such as pneumonia. We conducted this study to assess the knowledge and attitudes of patients and their peers in the northern Palestinian hospital towards seasonal influenza and influenza vaccination and the factors affecting the vaccination, so that we can identify their knowledge gaps, feed back the future quality to the health authorities and improve the project by raising awareness of its effectiveness and safety. method. A cross-sectional survey of 17 projects included a random sample of 327 northern Palestinian residentstients and their companions at North Palestine hospitals. Result. A total of 327 completed questionnaires were received with a response rate of 92 . Of these, 129 participants (39.4 ) believed that influenza is the same as common cold. The majority of participants (85.3 ) had heard of the influenza vaccine before. Although nearly half of them (53.6 ) believed that the influenza vaccine is safe, only 112 (34.7 ) of the participants considered vaccination an effective means in preventing serious influenza-related complications and only 89 (27.2 ) participants were previously vaccinated. The main reasons for not being vaccinated included that vaccination is not necessary because flu is not a serious disease (67 ), concerns about vaccine efficacy and its side effects (25.6 ), fear of needles and injection (25.2 ), and 17.8 of the participants believed that this vaccine is expensive. Conclusion. The uptake and knowledge of the influenza vaccine among Palestinians are low. Vaccinated participants in our survey showed a higher level of knowledge compared to nonvaccinated participants. Half of the participants believed in the safety of the vaccine and one-third of them believed in its efficacy in preventing flu illness and its complications. Extensive and sustained efforts are needed by public health programs to promote the flu vaccine among the public by increasing awareness of its effectiveness and safety.

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