Influenza infections cause significant morbidity and mortality throughout the world, and vaccination rates of health-care workers remain well below target goals. Strategies for increasing vaccination rates include mandatory vaccination of health-care workers, mandatory declination, employee incentives, intensive education, increased access to vaccines, and the use of social media to inform employees of the safety and efficacy of vaccination. While these strategies in combination have been shown to be effective in increasing vaccination rates, personal and religious objections, as well as the potential for infringing on individual autonomy, remain challenges in our efforts to bring health-care worker vaccination rates up to target goals.
"In the case of adults, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and a variety of healthcare organizations support mandatory seasonal influenza vaccination for healthcare workers (HCW), particularly given three decades of low compliance with voluntary vaccination (Derber and Shankaran 2012; Ottenberg et al. 2011). Although mandatory vaccination policies have been shown to be the strongest predictor of compliance with seasonal influenza vaccine uptake among both hospital-based and nonhospital-based HCW's (n=3,188; Rebmann et al. 2012), institutional and HCW resistance to such policies persist, with few published studies of HCW's perspectives on such mandates (Derber and Shankaran 2012; Ottenberg et al. 2011). Assessment of attitudes toward compulsory HIV vaccination among populations at elevated risk of HIV exposure, and in settings that might serve as venues for vaccine delivery, may support effective interventions to facilitate future HIV vaccine dissemination. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Compulsory vaccination is a frequently implemented policy option for ensuring comprehensive vaccine coverage. Ongoing controversies around human papillomavirus vaccine dissemination, and suboptimal coverage, suggest the value of assessing acceptability of compulsory vaccinations-particularly among likely target populations-in advance of their public availability to support evidence-informed interventions. With the first HIV vaccine to demonstrate partial efficacy in a large-scale clinical trial, we examined individual characteristics and attitudes associated with support for compulsory HIV vaccination policy among a diverse, representative sample of adults attending probable HIV vaccine dissemination venues in a large urban county. Participants were recruited using three-stage probability sampling from likely venues for future HIV vaccine dissemination. We used Audio-CASI to administer a 60-min structured questionnaire. Items included endorsement of compulsory HIV vaccination policy, sociodemographic characteristics, injecting drug use, vaccine attitudes and perceived HIV risk. Among 1,225 participants (mean age = 36.8 years; 55.6 % males, 37.6 % non-English speaking Hispanic, 78.8 % heterosexual, 25.7 % injection drug users), almost half (48.2 %) endorsed a compulsory HIV vaccination policy. Non-English speaking Hispanics compared to whites, participants with less than high school education, higher positive vaccine attitude scores and higher perceived HIV risk were significantly more likely, and people who inject drugs significantly less likely to endorse compulsory HIV vaccination. Public health interventions to promote positive vaccine attitudes and accurate perceptions of HIV risk among vulnerable populations, and strategies tailored for people who inject drugs, may build support for compulsory HIV vaccination policy and promote broad HIV vaccine coverage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza is a common virus whose ability to change its genetic makeup allows for disease of pandemic proportion. This article summarizes the different strains of influenza circulating in the United States for the past century, the diagnosis and treatment of influenza, as well as the different ways to prevent disease. This information will be of value to clinicians caring for patients both in the hospital and in the community.
The Medical clinics of North America 07/2013; 97(4):621-45. DOI:10.1016/j.mcna.2013.03.001 · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite consistent recommendations by all Public Health Authorities in support of annual influenza vaccination for at-risk categories, there is still a low uptake of influenza vaccine in these groups including health care workers (HCWs). Aim of this observational two-phase study was to estimate the immunization rates for influenza in four subsequent seasons and for pandemic H1N1 influenza in HCWs of a University Hospital, and to investigate its distribution pattern and the main determinants of immunization. Phase 1 data collection was performed in 2009-2010, during the peak of H1N1 pandemic. Phase 2 data collection, aimed to investigate seasonal influenza vaccination coverage in the three seasons after pandemic, was performed in 2012-2013.
The overall H1N1 vaccination rate was derived by the Hospital immunization registry. In 2010, the personnel of three Departments (Infectious Diseases, Pediatrics and Gynecology/Obstetrics) completed a survey on influenza. A second-phase analysis was performed in 2012 to investigate influenza vaccination coverage in three consecutive seasons.
The first-phase survey showed a low coverage for influenza in all categories (17 %), with the lowest rate in nurses (8.1 %). A total of 37 % of health care workers received H1N1 vaccine, with the highest rate among physicians and the lowest in nurses. H1N1 vaccination was closely related to the Department, being higher in the Department of Infectious Diseases (53.7 %) and Pediatrics (42.4 %) than in Gynecology/Obstetrics (8.3 %). The second-phase survey showed the lowest rate of influenza vaccination in 2012/13 season. The main reasons for not being vaccinated were "Unsure of the efficacy of vaccine" and "Feel not at-risk of getting influenza or its complications". Despite recommendations, influenza vaccine uptake remains poor.
Immunization is largely perceived as a personal protection rather than a measure needed to prevent disease spreading to at-risk patients. Compulsory vaccination against influenza should be considered as a possible strategy, at least in health institutions where at-risk patients are admitted.
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