CDC reports on flu vaccination among healthcare workers

By: August 19th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Despite recommendations from government agencies, influenza advisory committees, healthcare associations,  influenza vaccination coverage among healthcare personnel in the U.S. “has increased slowly over the past decade,” according to the CDC.

“Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Health-Care Personnel—United States, 2010–11 Influenza Season,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, August 19, reports that overall influenza vaccination coverage among healthcare workers was 63.5%, similar to coverage for the previous influenza season.

The report is based on a CDC online survey of1,931 healthcare workers.

Survey respondents working at facilities with mandatory influenza vaccination policies reported 98.1% compliance. (Approximately 13% of respondents reported being required by their employers to be vaccinated for influenza.) In facilities that did not have mandatory policies but offered vaccinations onsite, the rate of coverage increased over the average, especially when vaccination programs included the following characters:

  • Personal reminders from the employer to get vaccinated, 69.9%
  • Vaccination availability at no cost, 67.9%
  • Vaccination availability for more than one  day, 68.8%

Within healthcare settings, hospitals had the highest coverage followed by outpatient and ambulatory facilities:

Setting % vaccinated
Hospital 71.1
Ambulatory/Outpatient 61.5
Dentist office 54.6
Retail pharmacy 64.1
Long-term care facility 64.4
Home health 53.6
Other 46.7

Among occupations, physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, had the highest coverage for vaccination ranging 84.2% to 82.6%. There was a drop off in coverage for other occupations such as nurses, allied health professionals, non-clinical support, which ranged from 69.8% to 55.9%.

Influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel is needed to protect patients from worker-transmitted disease, and maximizing influenza vaccination among all healthcare personnel is an important part of any comprehensive infection-control program, according to the report.


By Linda Opheim on August 24th, 2011 at 9:06 am

I would encourage anyone struggling to improve their compliance rates to look at the work Iowa hospitals have done over the past 5-6 years. We have had significant success and are working on reliabilty.


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