Cumberland Plateau Health District 2009-2010 Flu Season Vaccine Study: Final Report


The Cumberland Plateau Health District of the Virginia Department of Health commissioned a team of faculty at Virginia Tech in 2011 to conduct a small pilot study of seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccination practices in Far Southwest Virginia. The study was conducted between February and July 2011.

The purpose of the study was two-fold:

Understand the reasons why two specific populations (parents of elementary school-aged children and 18-25 year olds) chose to vaccinate or not vaccinate for H1N1 and seasonal flu in 2009-10, and

Identify the contributing factors (e.g. logistical barriers, intentional reasons, or parental disengagement) that led to a decision to either vaccinate or not vaccinate.

The study was conducted in a small rural county with a significant portion of the population living below the poverty line. The area ranks low in Virginia for health outcomes with more than one quarter of residents reporting to be in poor or fair health in nationally tracked county health statistics.

The study had three components: a survey of 86 family units in two elementary schools, indepth in-person follow-up interviews with nine families, and a survey of 158 18-25 year-olds in two educational institutions in the region.