Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Workers: Translating Policy to Practice
ABSTRACT Influenza vaccination of health care workers has been recommended since 1984. Multiple strategies to enhance vaccination rates have been suggested, but national rates have remained low.
BJC HealthCare is a large Midwestern health care organization with approximately 26,000 employees. Because organizational vaccination rates remained below target levels, influenza vaccination was made a condition of employment for all employees in 2008. Medical or religious exemptions could be requested. Predetermined medical contraindications include hypersensitivity to eggs, prior hypersensitivity reaction to influenza vaccine, and history of Guillan-Barré syndrome. Medical exemption requests were reviewed by occupational health nurses and their medical directors. Employees who were neither vaccinated nor exempted by 15 December 2008 were not scheduled for work. Employees still not vaccinated or exempt by 15 January 2009 were terminated.
Overall, 25,561 (98.4%) of 25,980 active employees were vaccinated. Ninety employees (0.3%) received religious exemptions, and 321 (1.2%) received medical exemptions. Eight employees (0.03%) were not vaccinated or exempted. Reasons for medical exemption included allergy to eggs (107 [33%]), prior allergic reaction or allergy to other vaccine component (83 [26%]), history of Guillan-Barré syndrome (15 [5%]), and other (116 [36%]), including 14 because of pregnancy. Many requests reflected misinformation about the vaccine.
A mandatory influenza vaccination campaign successfully increased vaccination rates. Fewer employees sought medical or religious exemptions than had signed declination statements during the previous year. A standardized medical exemption request form would simplify the request and review process for employees, their physicians, and occupational health and will be used next year.
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ABSTRACT: Context Influenza is a major cause of patient morbidity. Mandatory influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel (HCP) is increasingly common yet has uncertain clinical impact. This study systematically examines published evidence of the benefits and harm of influenza vaccine mandates. Evidence acquisition MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Science Citation Index Expanded, and Conference Proceedings Citations Index were searched and analyzed in 2013. Studies must have assessed the effect of a requirement of influenza vaccination among HCP for continued employment or clinical practice. Studies were not limited by comparison group, outcome, language, or study design. Two reviewers independently abstracted data and assessed bias risk. Evidence synthesis Twelve observational studies were included in the study from 778 citations. Following implementation of a vaccine mandate, vaccination rates increased in all eight studies reporting this outcome, exceeding 94%. Three studies documented increased vaccination rates in hospitals with mandates compared to those without (p<0.001 for all comparisons). Two single-institution studies reported limited, inconclusive results on absenteeism among HCP. No studies reported on clinical outcomes among patients. Medical and religious exemptions and terminations or voluntary resignations were rare. Conclusions Evidence from observational studies suggests that a vaccine mandate increases vaccination rates, but evidence on clinical outcomes is lacking. Although challenging, large healthcare employers planning to implement a mandate should develop a strategy to evaluate HCP and patient outcomes. Further studies documenting the impact of HCP influenza vaccination on clinical outcomes would inform decisions on the use of mandatory vaccine policies in HCP.American Journal of Preventive Medicine 09/2014; 47(3):330–340. DOI:10.1016/j.amepre.2014.05.035 · 4.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This report updates the 2009 recommendations by CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding the use of influenza vaccine for the prevention and control of influenza (CDC. Prevention and control of influenza: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [ACIP]. MMWR 2009;58[No. RR-8] and CDC. Use of influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine---recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [ACIP], 2009. MMWR 2009;58:[No. RR-10]). The 2010 influenza recommendations include new and updated information. Highlights of the 2010 recommendations include 1) a recommendation that annual vaccination be administered to all persons aged >or=6 months for the 2010-11 influenza season; 2) a recommendation that children aged 6 months--8 years whose vaccination status is unknown or who have never received seasonal influenza vaccine before (or who received seasonal vaccine for the first time in 2009-10 but received only 1 dose in their first year of vaccination) as well as children who did not receive at least 1 dose of an influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine regardless of previous influenza vaccine history should receive 2 doses of a 2010-11 seasonal influenza vaccine (minimum interval: 4 weeks) during the 2010--11 season; 3) a recommendation that vaccines containing the 2010-11 trivalent vaccine virus strains A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like (the same strain as was used for 2009 H1N1 monovalent vaccines), A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like, and B/Brisbane/60/2008-like antigens be used; 4) information about Fluzone High-Dose, a newly approved vaccine for persons aged >or=65 years; and 5) information about other standard-dose newly approved influenza vaccines and previously approved vaccines with expanded age indications. Vaccination efforts should begin as soon as the 2010-11 seasonal influenza vaccine is available and continue through the influenza season. These recommendations also include a summary of safety data for U.S.-licensed influenza vaccines. These recommendations and other information are available at CDC's influenza website (http://www.cdc.gov/flu); any updates or supplements that might be required during the 2010-11 influenza season also will be available at this website. Recommendations for influenza diagnosis and antiviral use will be published before the start of the 2010-11 influenza season. Vaccination and health-care providers should be alert to announcements of recommendation updates and should check the CDC influenza website periodically for additional information.MMWR. Recommendations and reports: Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Recommendations and reports / Centers for Disease Control 08/2010; 59(RR-8).
- Public Health Reports 127(2):224-7. · 1.64 Impact Factor