Influenza Vaccination In Japan Among The General Population And High-Risk Groups


      Influenza vaccination rates have not been high enough in Japan. This study investigated current influenza vaccination rates among the general Japan population and rates among high-risk adults.


      This study included data from the 2011-2012 Japan (Ns= 30,000) National Health and Wellness Surveys(NHWS) a cross-sectional, Internet-bases survey. The NHWS includes a nationwide sample of adults (18+ years) which included items on vaccination history as well as high-risk group status as defined by the World Health Organization(WHO). Vaccination rates and characteristics of vaccinees were reported descriptively. Logistic regressions were conducted to predict vaccination behavior from sociodemographics and risk-related variables.


      17.17% of adults in Japan reported being vaccinated for influenza in 2012(compared with 19.17% in 2011). Even among patients in high-risk groups(CHD, chronic lung conditions etc.), vaccination rates were low, ranging from 24.83%(caregivers) to 42.86%(patients with immunodeficiencies). The most common reason for non-vaccination was the belief that it was not important(45.3%); other common reasons included believing that the vaccine is not effective (13.0%) and that prior infection leads to future resistance(12.3%). Respondents who were vaccinated were more likely to be female (OR=1.006), older(OR=1.212), university educated(OR=1.225), and employed(OR=1.242) with higher incomes(¥5MM or more) (OR=1.128) when compared to those who did not receive the vaccine. Those vaccinated also exercised more on average(OR=1.006), and feared needles less(OR=0.869). The strongest predictors of vaccination were having an immunodeficiency (OR=3.613), heart disease (OR=2.571), chronic lung(OR=2.025), chronic liver(OR=1.625), chronic renal condition(OR=1.608) or chronic metabolic conditions (OR=1.532) (all p<.05).


      Overall vaccination rates were low in Japan with no increase in vaccination rates from the prior year. All WHO-recommended vaccination groups had rates less than 50% and a large gap remains between these recommendations and vaccination behavior. In 2011, the influenza vaccination rates among adults in the United States were 36.2%, almost twice the vaccination rate in Japan.