Analyzing the Decision to Get Flu Shot: An Empirical Study
Gregory Yom Din
Influenza vaccination has been shown to be cost effective in reducing morbidity and mortality and in decreasing work absenteeism and use of health-care resources. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors and beliefs regarding people's vaccination decision against the influenza. It was hypothesized that Health Belief Model (HBM) categories, such as severity of illness, vaccine effectiveness and side effects of the vaccine, affect the decision to get flu shot. In addition, we examined psychological effects, such as time preference, subjective probability of flu, and attitude toward risk. A questionnaire surveys was conducted in the USA, in 2004. The questions included HBM categories and the psychological effects. The results indicate that the main predictors of past immunization against influenza are: the estimated effectiveness of the vaccination, periodic blood test, perceived severity of flu illness, side effects of vaccine (negative effect), having health anxieties, and subjective probability of being infected. Based upon these results, it is recommended to enlarging people's knowledge regarding the influenza illness, its potential risks, and the potential benefits of the vaccine.
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