1M hospital workers got seasonal flu shots

Aug. 19, 2009 at 4:10 PM
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OAK BROOK, Ill., Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The number of U.S. hospital workers vaccinated against seasonal flu during the last fall/winter flu season increased by 14 percent, a non-profit says.

Joint Commission Resources says the first-ever Flu Vaccination Challenge aimed to achieve a seasonal flu vaccination rate of 43 percent or higher among hospital staff -- based on results from a 2005/2006 national survey of healthcare worker seasonal flu vaccination rates.

As part of the Flu Vaccination Challenge, about 1.1 million U.S. healthcare workers were vaccinated against the seasonal flu during the 2008/2009 flu season.

Barbara M. Soule of Joint Commission Resources said, on average, the total number of healthcare workers vaccinated against seasonal flu among the 1,700 participating hospitals increased by 14 percent from the 2005/2006 flu season.

"Despite the encouraging results, nearly 40 percent of healthcare workers among the participating hospitals were not vaccinated and remained unprotected against the flu, Soule said in a statement.

"Influenza occurs in healthcare settings and studies have shown that healthcare workers are a potential source of these infections."

Not only should doctors and nurses be vaccinated against seasonal flu, everyone who works in a healthcare facility should be vaccinated, the Joint Commission Resources advises.

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