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National Patient Safety Foundation Supports Mandatory Flu Vaccinations for Healthcare Workers
Date:11/18/2009

BOSTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) today issued the following position statement supporting mandatory influenza vaccination of health care workers:

        The National Patient Safety Foundation recognizes vaccine-preventable
        diseases as a matter of patient safety and supports mandatory
        influenza vaccination of health care workers to protect the health of
        patients, health care workers, and the community. NPSF appreciates
        that where vaccination is not possible for any reason, due to
        unavailability or medical contraindications of potential vaccine
        recipients, hospitals and healthcare professionals must use all
        available alternatives to avoid transmission to patients and coworkers
        including masks and adjusting job responsibilities.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080307/AQF053LOGO)

Influenza infection poses a significant threat to public health, and is of particular concern in hospital settings, where compromised patients are vulnerable to contagion, in particular when health care workers are carrying the virus. As individuals can be contagious while asymptomatic, health care workers can be transmitting the virus unknowingly. New data indicate that institutions with mandatory influenza vaccinations show an 88 percent reduction in workforce infection and a 41 percent reduction in influenza-related patient mortality. Influenza vaccination of health care workers is already recommended by the Center for Disease Control and is the gold standard of care - though not yet required - among all healthcare institutions.

"We deeply appreciate the National Patient Safety Foundation's leadership on this critical issue," said Jonathan Perlin, MD, Chief
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SOURCE National Patient Safety Foundation
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