The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that all health-care personnel (HCP) be vaccinated against influenza – this year and every year.
The ACIP says that taking that step can reduce illness and death caused by the flu among both HCP and their patients.
Overall, 79.0% of HCP reported receiving an influenza vaccination in the 2015-16 season, similar to the 77.3% coverage reported in the 2014-15 season. Vaccination coverage continues to be higher among HCP working in hospitals (91.2%) and lower among HCP working in ambulatory (79.8%) and long-term care settings (69.2%); however, long-term care settings were the only setting in which coverage increased in 2015-16 compared with 2014-15 (an increase of 5.3 percentage points).
Who is getting the flu vaccine? Those whose employers require it top the list, at 96.5 percent. Physicians are next, at 95.6%. At 64.1%, assistants and aides are the least likely to get it.
Among HCP working in settings where vaccination was neither required, promoted, nor offered on site, vaccination coverage continues to be low (44.9%).