Flu vaccine data show importance of education
New data on the numbers of healthcare workers vaccinated for the influenza suggest too many don’t think vaccinations are important, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among a sample of 1,931 healthcare personnel, about 63.5% were vaccinated for influenza in the 2010-11 flu season, comparable with the previous year. Hospitals achieved the highest rate of compliance, with 71.1% of hospital healthcare personnel getting the shot. Other rates of compliance were longterm-care facilities, 64.4%; ambulatory/outpatient, 61.5%; and home health, 53.6%, according to the Aug. 19 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report. And 84.2% of physicians and dentists and 69.8% of nurses received the flu shot, the data show. The CDC, however, said it’s problematic that only 45.8% of those not getting vaccinated believe vaccinations are worth the time and expense. “These results indicate that programs to educate (healthcare personnel) regarding the seriousness of influenza and the effectiveness of the vaccine in protecting (the personnel) and their patients from illness should continue,” the authors noted.