Willingness of veterinarians in Australia to recommend Q fever vaccination in veterinary personnel: Implications for workplace health and safety compliance

Emily Sellens, Jacqueline M. Norris, Navneet K. Dhand, Jane Heller, Lynne Hayes, Heather F. Gidding, Harold Willaby, Nicholas Wood, Katrina L. Bosward

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Q fever vaccine uptake among veterinary nurses in Australia is low, suggesting veterinarians are not recommending the vaccination to veterinary personnel. This study aimed to determine the willingness of veterinarians to recommend Q fever vaccination to veterinary personnel and to identify factors influencing Q fever vaccine uptake by veterinary nurses in Australia. An online cross sectional survey targeted veterinarians and veterinary nurses in Australia in 2014. Responses were analysed using multivariable logistic regression. Factors significantly (p<0.05) associated with a willingness to recommend the vaccination, expressed by 35% (95% CI 31–38%) of veterinarians (n = 828), were (1) being very concerned for colleagues regarding Coxiella burnetii (OR 4.73), (2) disagreeing the vaccine is harmful (OR 3.80), (3) high Q fever knowledge (OR 2.27), (4) working within small animal practice (OR 1.67), (5) disagreeing the vaccine is expensive (OR 1.55), and (6) age, with veterinarians under 39 years most likely to recommend vaccination. Of the veterinary nursing cohort who reported a known Q fever vaccination status (n = 688), 29% (95% CI 26–33%) had sought vaccination. This was significantly (p<0.05) associated with (1) agreeing the vaccine is important (OR 8.34), (2) moderate/high Q fever knowledge (OR 5.51), (3) working in Queensland (OR 4.00), (4) working within livestock/mixed animal practice (OR 3.24), (5) disagreeing the vaccine is expensive (OR 1.86), (6) strong reliance on work culture for biosecurity information (OR 2.5), (7) perceiving personal exposure to Coxiella burnetii to be at least low/moderate (OR 2.14), and (8) both agreeing the vaccine is safe and working within a corporate practice structure (OR 4.28). The study identified the need for veterinarians to take greater responsibility for workplace health and safety promotion, and calls for better education of veterinary personnel to raise awareness of the potential for occupational.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0198421
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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