Flu vaccine recommendations call for employee declination documentation

By: October 30th, 2008 Email This Post Print This Post

Despite influenza vaccination campaigns in recent years, flu shot acceptance rate among healthcare workers still hovers around only 42%. That’s a low rate by any measure for a supposedly well-informed occupational class such as healthcare workers.

Recently the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) has released recommendations that healthcare facilities obtain statements that acknowledge patient risk from employees who decline the vaccine without a medical reason.These new recommendations apply to physicians, nurses, therapists, and other workers in a variety of healthcare settings, including physician offices, dental practices, hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care centers, outpatient settings, and home health settings.

The recommendations have been published in an APIC position paper, Influenza Immunization of Healthcare Personnel. APIC urges facilities to adhere to the guidelines set by the CDC by incorporating a comprehensive strategy for influenza vaccination.

To download a sample influenza vaccination declination form that meets the APIC recommendation go to the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Tools page.


By Sharon Brazee RN, CIC on November 5th, 2008 at 11:27 am

We have required our staff to either receive the Flu Vaccine or sign a declination paper for the last 3 years. We have also partnered with our local health department in running a ‘Flu Pandemic Clinic’ for hospital employees, volunteers, physicians, and the community. In 2007 our employee rate for receiving the flu shot was 73.5%, with a total of only 81.5% of employees either receiving or declining the vaccine. This year we have reached 94% of our employees receiving the flu vaccine and 100% either receiving or declining the vaccine. Not only do we run the clinic, but our night supervisors offer the vaccine to employees and we do ‘flu shot rounds’. Infection Prevention and Employee Health are very committed to the Flu Vaccine Program, our goal was 90% this year and we are very excited to have surpassed this goal.

By April Parsons, RN, CIC on November 10th, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Congratulations! How do you encourage those who say, “I don’t get sick. I’ve never gotten a flu shot and never will” ?The do have to sign the declination form which I refer to as the “I don’t care about anybody but me.” form. They also get information on how they can spread the flu without even being very sick.
Thanks for your help. We are only at 55%.


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