"Flu Ends with U" Influenza Vaccine Toolkit for Teaching Health Professional Students

Publication ID Published Volume
9417 May 15, 2013 9


Transmission of influenza by health care workers to their patients has been well documented and is very preventable. It is therefore important to educate all health professional students about the importance of influenza vaccination for themselves and their patients. Influenza vaccination for health care providers is now recommended by all major professional organizations and the standard of care in most healthcare facilities. We have devised this experiential educational intervention to increase knowledge about influenza vaccine for healthcare professionals, identify the protective effects of vaccination and incorporate influenza vaccination into an experiential learning module.

An inter-professional team consisting of an infectious disease physician, occupational health nurses, and medical librarian provided the intervention. Under nurse supervision, students vaccinated one another.

Students were surveyed on prior vaccination influencing factors and changes in attitudes towards the influenza vaccine. An end of semester OSCE evaluated their ability to counsel patients and administer the vaccine.

Post intervention, 93% felt it was important to be vaccinated against influenza versus 69% before the intervention (P < .01), and there was a greater appreciation of the importance of vaccination for healthcare workers: 81% versus 95% (P < .05).

Students’ perceived comfort with counseling about vaccination showed a marked increase between pre and post intervention 38% versus 98% (P < .01). At the OSCE, 79% of students demonstrated proficiency with counseling and 92.9% were able to dispel the myth that vaccine causes flu. Vaccination technique scores averaged 4.5/6 points.

This multifaceted intervention positively influenced student attitudes towards influenza. Additionally, it offered experience with vaccine counseling and administration. This easily reproducible, holistic approach to educating future healthcare professionals should be considered a fundamental component of any medical education curricula.


Afonso N, Kavanagh M, Swanberg S, Band J. "Flu ends with u" influenza vaccine toolkit for teaching health professional students. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2013;9:9417. http://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9417

Contains time-sensitive information that will likely be inaccurate, obsolete, or irrelevant by April 22, 2016

Educational Objectives

At the end of the session the student will be able to:

  1. Describe influenza vaccines, vaccine safety, and adverse events.
  2. Observe and practice vaccine administration using task training models.
  3. Administer influenza vaccine to fellow students (optional).


  • Influenza Vaccines, Teaching, Vaccine Administration

Prior Scholarly Dissemination

Abstract presented at CGEA meeting 2012, St Louis, Missouri.


Afonso N., Kavanagh M, Misra L., Thompson B., Swanberg S., Band J.

An Integrated Educational Intervention to Teach Medical Students About the Influenza Vaccine While Ensuring Compliance with Hospital Policy

2012 CGEA meeting, St. Louis Missouri

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