Ask the expert: Flu shot resources for skittish healthcare workers

By: July 27th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Many of my staff members are afraid of the influenza vaccination. Education is good but are there any special tips to break through the anxiety?

A: Check out “Talking Points When Implementing a Mandatory Flu Vaccination Program” under the Pandemic heading on the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Tools page, which addresses:

  • What is the goal of the program
  • How safe is the vaccine?
  • What are the contraindications?
  • What are not considered contraindications?

This document is from HCPro’s on-demand webcast Mandatory Influenza Vaccinations: Get Healthcare Staff Onboard at Your Facility.

Even if you do not have a mandatory flu shot policy, the document makes a persuasive case for immunizations for healthcare workers, including staff fears and misconceptions.

Other good CDC resources include the video, Why should health professionals get the flu shot? and Influenza Vaccination Information for Health Care Workers.

Finally, the Immunization Action Coalition has good job in providing information encouraging flu immunization of healthcare workers. The following would be particularly helpful:

Navigate the sticky issues around mandatory flu shots
Seasonal and H1N1 influenza have prompted many healthcare facilities to consider mandatory influenza immunization for employees. The reaction from employees has been unmistakably vocal, as issues of patient safety and workers’ rights clash. HCPro’s Mandatory Influenza Vaccinations: Get Healthcare Staff Onboard at Your Facility, a 90-minute on-demand webcast will provide you with the medical and organizational perspectives for developing a mandatory influenza immunization policy.


Not surprising that many of us who have worked year after year to try and boost vaccination rates would like to advocate it as a condiiton of employment. I have used many of the tips in both those articles and while they may sway 1-2%, in general, they do not really change too many minds. We are way beyond the need to educate on the importance of the vaccine as most of us have been doing it for years already. I would like to see facilities provide the nasal mist as an alternative to healthcare workers where it is safe to use. Because of the added expense for vaccine and the longer screening questionaire required most do not routinely use it. If we would mandate vaccination, I would have to feel we are also offering options for how they are vaccinated.


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