Cost, employer mandates influence flu vaccination rates among health care workers: report

Atlanta – Health care workers are more likely to get an influenza vaccine if it is mandatory, provided at no cost or promoted by the employer, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of 2,348 health care workers surveyed by CDC in April, 66.9 percent said they were vaccinated for the 2011-2012 season. Workers were more likely to get vaccines when they were mandatory – 95.2 percent compared with 68.2 percent, and participation was higher at hospitals that offered the vaccine at no cost on multiple days – 78.4 percent compared with 48.4 percent at hospitals where the vaccine was not free.

Likewise, vaccination was more common at workplaces that promoted it than at those that did not.

Among workers who chose not to get vaccinated, the top reasons given were belief that they did not need it and concern about effectiveness and side effects.

The report concluded that comprehensive vaccination strategies for health care workers are needed, particularly among workers who are not physicians or nurses.

The report was published in the Sept. 28 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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