Influenza vaccine rates of health care personnel are headed in the right direction, according to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the 2013–14 season, 75 percent of personnel received vaccinations compared with 72 percent in the previous season. Coverage was highest among those working in hospitals (90 percent) and lowest among those working in long-term care settings (63 percent). However, only personnel working in hospital settings had an increase in coverage — by more than 6 percent — during the 2013–14 season compared with that of the previous season.
By occupation type, coverage during the 2013–14 season was 92 percent among physicians, 90 percent among nurse practitioners and physician assistants, 91 percent among nurses, 86 percent among pharmacists, 58 percent among assistants and aides, 87 percent among other clinical personnel, and 69 percent among nonclinical personnel. Only nurses and other clinical personnel had increased coverage over that of the 2012–13 season.
Among the 36 percent of personnel who were required by their employers to be vaccinated, 98 received the vaccine compared with 72 percent of those working in settings where the vaccination was not required but promoted, and 48 percent where there was no requirement or promotion.
Among vaccinated personnel, the most common reasons given for influenza vaccination were “To protect myself from flu” (44 percent), “My employer requires me to be vaccinated for flu” (26 percent), and “To protect patients from getting flu” (9 percent). Among unvaccinated personnel, the most common reasons given for not being vaccinated were “I might get sick from the vaccine” (20 percent), “I don’t think that flu vaccines work” (16 percent), and “I don’t need it” (16 percent).
For more, go to www.cdc.gov/mmwr