• Journal Article

Pre-event willingness to receive smallpox vaccine among physicians and public safety personnel

Citation

Silk, B. J., del, R. C., Ivansco, L. K., Wetterhall, S., Augustine, J. J., Blumberg, H. M., & Berkelman, R. L. (2005). Pre-event willingness to receive smallpox vaccine among physicians and public safety personnel. Southern Medical Journal, 98(9), 876-882.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Planning for voluntary smallpox vaccination of health and safety officials began in December 2002. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Surveys were conducted among physicians and fire and police department personnel in Atlanta, Georgia. Information on demographics, willingness to receive smallpox vaccine, self-reported knowledge level, and potential vaccine contraindications was analyzed. RESULTS: Forty-one percent of physicians (n = 199) were undecided on vaccination (32% would receive vaccine and 27% would not). Forty-eight percent of firefighters (n = 343) and 41% of police (n = 466) were undecided; 23% and 41% would receive vaccine, whereas 28% and 18% would not (fire and police, respectively). Absence of contraindications was associated with physicians' willingness to be vaccinated (P = 0.006). Many physicians (66%) and most public safety personnel (88%) considered themselves inadequately informed on smallpox vaccine. In a multivariate analysis, inadequately informed respondents were more likely to be undecided (OR = 2.23, CI = 1.39 to 3.56). CONCLUSIONS: Before implementation of the smallpox vaccination program, self-assessed knowledge about smallpox disease and vaccine were poor