Healthcare vaccination rates lagging behind goal rates

Data released by the CDC on Monday indicates that influenza vaccination rates for healthcare workers are significantly below the Healthy People 2020 target of 90 percent.
Approximately 63.5 percent of healthcare workers were vaccinated for the 2010-2011 season, which was similar to the 62 percent coverage during the previous season, Pediatric Super Site reports. Coverage was highest among those in hospital settings at 71.1 percent, with 84.2 percent of physicians and dentists and 82.6 percent of nurse practitioners and physicians assistants vaccinated.
“Influenza vaccination for healthcare personnel is important for the protection of the [health care worker] against influenza and to reduce the likelihood that the patient may be exposed to an influenza-infected healthcare worker,” Carolyn Bridges, the associate director for adult immunization at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, said during a CDC telebriefing today, according to Pediatric Super Site. “Both the ACIP and Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee recommend that all health care personnel be vaccinated annually for influenza.”
Of the 13 percent of healthcare workers required by their employer to get vaccinated, 98.1 percent were vaccinated. Only 58 percent of healthcare workers who were not required to be vaccinated received a vaccination. Offering free vaccinations onsite and for more than one day was associated with increased vaccination coverage among those not required to be vaccinated.
“Offering vaccination at the work site was particularly important, and making vaccination convenient for HCWs is a key strategy for raising vaccination rates,” Bridges said, according to Pediatric Super Site.