An actor-network analysis of the healthcare worker influenza immunisation programme in Wales: 2009-2011

Hale, Rachel (2016) An actor-network analysis of the healthcare worker influenza immunisation programme in Wales: 2009-2011. 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 (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Nguyen-Van-Tan, J.S.
Dingwall, R.
Keywords: Influenza, Vaccination, Immunisation, Actor-network theory, Sociology
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WC Communicable diseases
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 33126
Depositing User: Hale, Rachel
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2016 06:40
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 16:05

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