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CDC: Easy access to flu shots increases number of health care workers vaccinated

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Atlanta – About 79 percent of health care providers received an influenza vaccination during the 2016-2017 flu season, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends health care providers get a flu shot to help reduce the risk of flu-related health issues for themselves and for their patients, as well as to help decrease worker absenteeism.

ACIP has surveyed health care providers since 2010 to monitor flu immunization participation levels, which have risen from 63.5 percent in the 2010-11 season to 75.2 percent in 2013-14, and have held steady between 77.3 percent and 79 percent since then.

CDC researchers reviewed data submitted by 2,438 health care providers for the 2016-17 flu season. They found that flu-shot participation was highest (96.7 percent) in workplaces where the shot was required, and lowest (45.8 percent) if the shot was optional, not offered onsite or not promoted. Immunization was highest in hospitals (92.3 percent), followed by ambulatory care sites (76.1 percent), other clinical settings (75 percent) and long-term care facilities (68 percent).

The researchers attributed the increase in vaccinations from 2011 to 2016 to employer mandates, onsite availability and offering the shot for free.

The survey results were published Sept. 29 in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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