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CDC examines vaccination rate among healthcare workers


ATLANTA — In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention break down a survey about influenza vaccination among healthcare professionals, noting that employer vaccine requirements or on-site vaccination can help achieve better coverage. 


The survey found that overall, 79% of participants had received a flu shot in the 2015-2016 season, similar to the 77.3% seen in the previous season. Those working in hospitals had a higher vaccination rate (91.2%) than those working in ambulatory care (79.8%) or long-term care settings (69.2%). Vaccination was highest among physicians at 95.6% and lowest among assistants and aides (64.1%). 


The survey also found that only 44.9% of healthcare professionals working where vaccination was neither required, offered onsite or promoted had received a flu shot last year. On the other hand, professionals whose employers required vaccination, 96.5% received a flu shot last season, and those whose employers made vaccination available onsite for no cost reported 82.8% vaccination when flu shots were offered for more than one day and 82.1% among those whose employers offered flu shots for one day. 


“Implementing strategies shown to improve vaccination coverage among health care personnel in a workplace, including vaccination requirements or offering onsite vaccinations at no cost over multiple days, can help protect long-term care patients from influenza,” the report said. “ In the absence of vaccination requirements, expanding the number of health care locations offering vaccination on-site, over multiple days, and at no cost might help sustain and improve influenza vaccination coverage among health care personnel, including in long-term care settings.”


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