Iowa healthcare workers lead the nation in vaccinations

The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative found that 92 percent of hospital staff members statewide received vaccinations in the winter of 2010, well above the national vaccination rate of approximately 50 percent.

Iowa's vaccination rate puts it at the top of the nation. Some state hospitals, such as Allen Hospital, require that their workers be vaccinated, KWWL reports.
"If you work at Allen Hospital, you must be vaccinated," Jim Waterbury, an Allen Hospital spokesman, said, according to KWWL. "It's just part of our culture now. We tell people, you must be vaccinated or you must present a waiver."
Allen Hospital's policy led to 99.7 percent of workers receiving vaccinations in 2010-2011.
"No one really likes to be vaccinated, it's the dreaded fear of the needle," Brian Meisinger, the Black Hawk County public health director, said, according to KWWL. "We encourage and promote the principle that health care workers should be vaccinated to protect themselves. Because they're at risk, but also to protect those coming into the facilities."
Not all facilities require vaccination for their workers, including Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Covenant Clinic in Waterloo, Iowa, which reported that fewer than 70 percent of their workers received the flu vaccine last winter.
Dr. Tom Evans, the IHC president, said that the goal is for every hospital to be at 95 percent. He hopes that annual reporting will encourage hospitals to raise their standards.
"I don't know a provider organization that isn't trying to be the very best they can," Evans said, according to KWWL. "So when we all share where we are, it creates an opportunity where everyone is raising the standard of care."