Navigation Links
Mandatory flu vaccination of healthcare personnel does not lead to worker exodus

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., June 7, 2013 Mandatory influenza (flu) vaccination, as a condition of employment, did not lead to excessive voluntary termination, according to a four-year analysis of vaccination rates at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL.

Flu infections result in approximately 150,000 hospital admissions and 24,000 deaths annually.1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all healthcare personnel (HCP) receive the annual flu vaccine, yet the national average for HCP vaccination is only 64 percent.

Infection control and prevention specialists at Loyola worked with a multidisciplinary task force to develop a facility-wide policy that made flu vaccination a condition of employment. Their successful approach will be presented on Sunday, June 9, at the 40th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

"`First, do no harm' is our mandate as healthcare workers," said Dr. Jorge Parada, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA, study author and professor of medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "We should do all we can to not pass along illness to our patients."

As one of the first medical centers in the country to implement mandatory flu vaccination, Loyola began with the full backing of the hospital's senior leadership. They introduced an active declination system in 2008 HCPs were no longer allowed to simply not bother to get influenza vaccination, instead they were required by Employee Health to state "yes" or "no" when asked to be vaccinated and to provide reasoning for why they declined the vaccine. This brought the center's overall vaccination rate up to 72 percent, well above the CDC's goal of more than 60 percent of HCPs vaccinated, but the hospital aimed higher.

"This was still well short of what we at Loyola felt we should achieve to maximize patient safety," said Dr. Parada, who led the vaccination program. "After all, this still meant more than one in four staff were not being immunized. In addition, let's not forget that as healthcare workers our staff are at greater risk than the general population for exposure to the flu virus, and we also have a fiduciary responsibility to try and protect our HCP (and by extension, their families) from becoming ill. Vaccination provides that added protection."

In 2009 Loyola chose to mandate flu vaccination as a condition of employment, and extended this mandate to students, volunteers, and contractors. To support and encourage compliance, the center's communications department developed facility-wide reminder emails and created short videos, which were displayed on flat screens throughout the hospital.

In the first year of the mandatory policy (2009-'10 season), 99.2 percent of employees received the vaccine, 0.7 percent were exempted for religious/medical reasons, and 0.1 percent refused vaccination and chose to terminate employment. The results have been sustained: In 2012, 98.7 percent were vaccinated, 1.2 percent were exempted and 0.06 percent refused vaccination.

Dr. Parada explained that in reality, their 2012 numbers were even better than that because, of the five people who refused vaccination in the mandatory period, three were unpaid volunteers, who later reconsidered, received vaccine and returned to Loyola, and the other two were part-time staff, each with only 10 percent time commitment at Loyola, truly reflecting a 0.002 percent vaccine-refusal rate. Over the course of four years, fewer than 15 HCP (including volunteers) out of approximately 8,000 total chose termination over vaccination.

"Near-universal flu immunization is achievable and sustainable with a mandatory vaccination policy," Dr. Parada said. "Our employees and associates now understand that this is the way we do business. Just as construction workers must wear steel-toed boots and hard hats on job sites, healthcare workers should get a flu shot to work in a hospital. We believe that patient and staff safety have been enhanced as a result."


Contact: Jennifer Crawford
Association for Professionals in Infection Control

Related medicine news :

1. Infant Vaccination Delays Triple in Oregon: Study
2. Human papillomavirus types do not replace others after large-scale vaccination
3. Hepatitis A vaccination in children under 2 remains effective for 10 years
4. Vaccinations Belong on Parents Back-to-School Checklists
5. Study explores medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements across states
6. Childhood Vaccination Rates Remain High, CDC Says
7. More Kids Opting Out of School-Required Vaccinations: Study
8. BUSM study finds certain subgroups of black women have lower uptake of HPV vaccination
9. HPV-associated cancer incidence rates point to needed efforts to increase HPV vaccination coverage
10. Thigh Is Safer Vaccination Site Than Arm for Toddlers, Study Finds
11. Vaccination responsible for dramatic fall in Salmonella infections
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... As ... Water For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together who want to combine talents and ... as key stakeholders in the process. The non-profit launched its first major fundraiser ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... the perfect dish and pleasing the palates of attendees is of the utmost ... dish to a seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this holiday season. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Finnleo, a leader in the traditional and ... of traditional and far-infrared saunas. , For traditional saunas, Finnleo is offering ... Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only European Grade A Nordic White Spruce from ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... companies, has been recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with the ... Work.” , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... launched offering factory direct sauna parts and accessories. , Sauna accessories help ... of the bather’s style and personality. From basic styles for the purist looking ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... License Application (BLA) with the United States ... ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® ... biosimilar application submitted to the FDA and represents Amgen,s ... Sean E. Harper , M.D., executive vice president ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  The American Academy of Pediatrics ... and the March of Dimes cheered today,s signature ... Infants Act of 2015 (S.799), which takes ... born exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and ... all three organizations have worked together leading advocacy ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  Linden Care, LLC, a retail specialty pharmacy ... patients suffering from chronic pain, said today that it ... Order (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from unilaterally terminating the ... --> --> The company said ... options. --> --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: