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An actor-network analysis of the Healthcare Worker Influenza Immunisation Programme on Wales 2009-11

Hale, Rachel ORCID: 2016. An actor-network analysis of the Healthcare Worker Influenza Immunisation Programme on Wales 2009-11. PhD Thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) in the UK have been prioritised for free occupational immunisation against seasonal influenza since 1999. During the 2009-10 influenza pandemic, they were identified as a priority group to receive the strain-specific vaccine. Nevertheless, take-up rates among HCWs have rarely exceeded 50%, even during the pandemic. Most attempts to change this situation have been predicated on the assumption that these low rates are the result of reluctance or resistance by individual HCWs, who must be persuaded or coerced to comply with employer directives. To gain a novel understanding of this immunisation programme, an actor-network theory approach is adopted to trace the journeys of vaccines through two Local Health Boards in Wales during the 2009-10 H1N1 influenza pandemic and in the following winter influenza season (i.e. during 2010-11). The research reported shows that low uptake is largely the result of complex social, organizational and cultural processes. Only when these have been changed will it be appropriate to frame the remaining problem as reluctance or resistance by individual HCWs. The study reveals that this immunisation programme is inherently unstable and subject to ambivalence from actors at all levels. Suggestions for practical improvement are given.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 March 2019
Date of Acceptance: 1 May 2016
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 13:52

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