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Pennsylvania Department of Health Lauds Health Care Facilities for Boosting Flu Vaccination Rates among Workforce
Date:12/20/2011

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of a national initiative, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is now recognizing health care facilities with flu vaccination rates for staff of 90 percent or higher on an honor roll found online at www.flufreepa.com.

"Increasing vaccination among health care workers is a critical step in helping us to protect and ensure the health of all Pennsylvanians," said Secretary of Health Dr. Eli Avila. "Preventing influenza in our health care workforce reduces absenteeism and improves our ability to respond to the needs of the community."

In Pennsylvania, 29 hospital-based facilities and 11 long-term care facilities have achieved a 90 percent or higher staff vaccination rate. These facilities have been placed on an honor roll located at www.flufreepa.com and have also received a certificate of excellence.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about 63 percent of health care workers received a flu shot during the last flu season – well below the federal goal of 90 percent.

Over the past several months, the Department of Health has been working with several partners to conduct regional trainings on employee vaccination and patient safety. Partners include the Health System Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition, the Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and Penn State Hershey's School of Medicine.

Through a grant from the CDC, the department also launched the "Earn Your Stripe" campaign to encourage health care workers to get a flu shot. The campaign assists health care associations and facilities educate employees about the importance of getting a flu shot.

Media contacts: Christine Cronkright or Holli Senior, 717-787-178
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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