State law and influenza vaccination of health care personnel
ABSTRACT Nosocomial influenza outbreaks, attributed to the unvaccinated health care workforce, have contributed to patient complications or death, worker illness and absenteeism, and increased economic costs to the health care system. Since 1981, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all HCP receive an annual influenza vaccination. Health care employers (HCE) have adopted various strategies to encourage health care personnel (HCP) to voluntarily receive influenza vaccination, including: sponsoring educational and promotional campaigns, increasing access to seasonal influenza vaccine, permitting the use of declination statements, and combining multiple approaches. However, these measures failed to significantly increase uptake among HCP. As a result, beginning in 2004, health care facilities and local health departments began to require certain HCP to receive influenza vaccination as a condition of employment and annually. Today, hundreds of facilities throughout the country have developed and implemented similar policies. Mandatory vaccination programs have been endorsed by professional and non-profit organizations, state health departments, and public health. These programs have been more effective at increasing coverage rates than any voluntary strategy, with some health systems reporting coverage rates up to 99.3%. Several states have enacted laws requiring HCEs to implement vaccination programs for the workforce. These laws present an example of how states will respond to threats to the public's health and constrain personal choice in order to protect vulnerable populations. This study analyzes laws in twenty states that address influenza vaccination requirements for HCP who practice in acute or long-term care facilities in the United States. The laws vary in the extent to which they incorporate the six elements of a mandatory HCP influenza vaccination program. Four of the twenty states have adopted a broad definition of HCP or HCE. While 16/20 of the laws require employers to "provide," "arrange for," "ensure," "require" or "offer" influenza vaccinations to HCP, only four states explicitly require HCEs to cover the cost of vaccination. Fifteen of the twenty laws allow HCP to decline the vaccination due to medical contraindication, religious or philosophical beliefs, or by signing a declination statement. Finally, three states address how to sanction noncompliant HCPs. The analysis also discusses the development of a model legal policy that legislators could use as they draft and revise influenza prevention guidelines in health care settings.
SourceAvailable from: Pier Luigi Lopalco[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mandatory policies have occasionally been implemented, targeting optimal vaccination uptake among healthcare workers (HCWs). Herein, we analyze the existing recommendations in European countries and discuss the feasibility of implementing mandatory vaccination for HCWs. As reflected by a survey among vaccine experts from 29 European countries, guidelines on HCW vaccination were issued in all countries, though with substantial differences in targeted diseases, HCW groups and type of recommendation. Mandatory policies were only exceptionally implemented. Results from a second survey suggested that such policies would not become easily adopted, and recommendations might work better if focusing on specific HCW groups and appropriate diseases such as hepatitis B, influenza and measles. In conclusion, guidelines for HCW vaccination, but not mandatory policies, are widely adopted in Europe. Recommendations targeting specific HCW groups and diseases might be better accepted and facilitate higher vaccine uptake than policies vaguely targeting all HCW groups.Expert Review of Vaccines 02/2014; 13(2):277-83. DOI:10.1586/14760584.2014.869174 · 4.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for health care personnel (HCP). We describe influenza vaccination coverage among HCP during the 2010-2011 season and present reported facilitators of and barriers to vaccination. Methods We enrolled HCP 18 to 65 years of age, working full time, with direct patient contact. Participants completed an Internet-based survey at enrollment and the end of influenza season. In addition to self-reported data, we collected information about the 2010-2011 influenza vaccine from electronic employee health and medical records. Results Vaccination coverage was 77% (1,307/1,701). Factors associated with higher vaccination coverage include older age, being married or partnered, working as a physician or dentist, prior history of influenza vaccination, more years in patient care, and higher job satisfaction. Personal protection was reported as the most important reason for vaccination followed closely by convenience, protection of patients, and protection of family and friends. Concerns about perceived vaccine safety and effectiveness and low perceived susceptibility to influenza were the most commonly reported barriers to vaccination. About half of the unvaccinated HCP said they would have been vaccinated if required by their employer. Conclusion Influenza vaccination in this cohort was relatively high but still fell short of the recommended target of 90% coverage for HCP. Addressing concerns about vaccine safety and effectiveness are possible areas for future education or intervention to improve coverage among HCP.American journal of infection control 04/2014; 42(4):371–375. DOI:10.1016/j.ajic.2013.11.003 · 2.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In October 2012, the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) amended its health care worker (HCW) vaccination regulations to require all HCWs to receive annual influenza vaccination or wear a surgical mask during direct patient contact when influenza is widespread. Unvaccinated HCWs failing to wear a mask are subject to a fine and disciplinary action.Journal of public health management and practice: JPHMP 08/2014; 21(3). DOI:10.1097/PHH.0000000000000128 · 1.47 Impact Factor