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Influenza vaccination in elderly people living in rural riverside areas: findings implications regarding the COVID-19 pandemic




rural population, primary health care, vaccination coverage, health of the elderly, influenza, COVID-19


Objective: To identify the proportion of unvaccinated elderly people and the reasons that interfere with influenza immunization in rural riverside locations and potential implications for vaccination against COVID-19. Method: Cross-sectional home-based survey carried out in 38 rural riverside locations on the left bank of the Negro river, Manaus, Amazonas. The selected elderly people answered a questionnaire that investigated living conditions, health status and access to health services. For this study, the outcomes related to influenza immunization in the last 12 months and the main reason given for non-vaccination were analyzed. Descriptive data analysis was performed, followed by logistic regression to identify the factors associated with non-vaccination. Results: Of the 102 elderly people included in the study, 28 (27.5%) reported no vaccination against influenza in the previous year. The main reasons were related to the lack of information on vaccination (60.71%) and barriers to accessing health services (28.58%). A greater chance of non-vaccination was identified among the elderly who did not consult the doctor in the last year (OR=4.18; 95%CI=1.57-11.11) and among those with the highest household income (OR=1.08; 95%CI=1.02-1.14). Conclusion: A high proportion of elderly people who have not been immunized against influenza have been identified. The reasons given for non-vaccination may persist and negatively interfere with the vaccination of this group against COVID-19. Thus, it is necessary to reorganize vaccination planning in rural riverside contexts, in order to achieve adequate coverage to one of the main risk groups for respiratory diseases.


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