Many hospital systems across the US have mandated healthcare workers receive the flu vaccine each year in an attempt to protect patients, visitors, and other healthcare workers (Johns Hopkins has a great FAQ here). Obviously this has led to a number of law suits and issues (nurse fired for refusing vaccine). This week, an abstract being presented at the 41st annual Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology conference has found a relationship between the number of vaccinated healthcare workers and the rate of influenza-like illnesses (More below and here). More studies like this, and studies on hospitals with mandatory flu vaccinations, are important in proving the efficacy of these programs. Personally, given this study and its implications, I would definitely prefer to be treated at a hospital with mandatory vaccinations. How about you?
“This study suggests that there is a strong connection between how many healthcare personnel are vaccinated against the flu and how many cases of influenza-like illnesses are reported in the community,” said James F. Marx, PhD, RN, CIC, investigator and founder of Broad Street Solutions, an infection prevention consultancy. “More research would be helpful to further understand the impact of vaccinating healthcare workers on community influenza rates.”
“According to Marx, if 90 percent of California healthcare personnel were vaccinated — the goal set by the federal government’s Healthy People 2020 initiative — there would be about 30,000 fewer cases of influenza-like illness in California.”