Influenza Vaccine Information for Healthcare Personnel
Influenza is one of the deadliest diseases in the United States. Each year 36,000 people die from influenza and 200,000 more are hospitalized. One in every 20 deaths in adults over age 65 is associated with the flu.
Healthcare personnel are an important source of transmission of the influenza virus in the healthcare setting and annual vaccination is the most effective strategy for preventing transmission. Flu vaccination is simple, safe, and cost effective; it reduces the risk of transmission to patients and other healthcare personnel and decreases absenteeism.
In 2006, California became the first state to pass legislation mandating that general acute care hospitals implement influenza vaccination programs by offering free vaccine to all employees and requiring a signed declination from those healthcare personnel who chose not to receive the vaccine. All California general acute care hospitals were required to report vaccination and declination rates to the California Department of Public Health.
When the Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) Program was funded in 2009, Program staff began collating and assessing influenza vaccination and declination data provided by general acute care hospitals, beginning with the 2008-2009 respiratory season. Ensuring data quality and compliance with reporting mandates has been a work-in-progress, including developing a standard data collection form with standard definitions, implementing a data quality control process, and ensuring timely reporting of data.