Predictors of acceptance of H1N1 influenza vaccination by FDNY firefighters and EMS workers

Michelle S. Glaser, Sydney Chui, Mayris P. Webber, Jackson Gustave, Roy Lee, Mary T. McLaughlin, Viola Ortiz, David Prezant, Kerry Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: There is a widely recognized need for vaccination of health care workers (HCWs). We undertook this study to assess the 2009-2010 H1N1 vaccination rates in ~14,000 firefighters and emergency medical service (EMS) workers at the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and to determine predictors of H1N1 vaccine acceptance. Methods: After 9/11/01, FDNY developed a bio-preparedness drill where units are dispatched to FDNY-BIOPOD (biologic points of distributions) for rapid distribution of medications/vaccines in the event of a biological disaster. Since 2005, FDNY offers free, voluntary seasonal influenza vaccination during routine medical monitoring/treatment examinations and at FDNY-BIOPOD. In 2009, FDNY-BIOPOD instead offered the H1N1 vaccine. We report on FDNY H1N1 vaccination rates and on predictors of acceptance using bivariate and multivariable techniques. Results: Overall, 10,612 (77%) FDNY workers were offered H1N1 vaccination, of whom 5831 (55%) accepted. Acceptance was 57.2% during FDNY-BIOPOD compared with 34.4% during medical monitoring/treatment exams (p=0.0001). Workers who accepted prior seasonal influenza vaccinations were 4 times more likely to accept H1N1 vaccination (AOR=4.4, CI 95=4.0-4.8). Conclusion: FDNY offered H1N1 vaccination to 77% of its workforce during the 2009-2010 season. Prior seasonal vaccine acceptance and vaccination in a group setting such as FDNY-BIOPOD dramatically increased acceptance of the H1N1 vaccine. However, within a voluntary program, additional strategies are needed to further increase vaccine acceptance in first responders and other HCWs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5675-5680
Number of pages6
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 5 2011


  • Firefighters
  • H1N1 vaccination
  • Health care workers
  • Influenza
  • Occupational health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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