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CDC: On-Site Flu Shots Improve Compliance

Workplace flu shots are a good investment, a new survey found. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sept. 19 urged all health care personnel to get flu vaccinations. The CDC also released the results of a survey of 1,882 health care clinicians meant to determine what factors influenced those who got the shots. Among its findings, when workplaces offered free shots on-site, compliance was 61.6% when the vaccinations were offered for one day only. When they were offered for multiple days, compliance rose to 80.4%. When employers did not offer the shots at all, compliance dropped to 49.0%

Workplace flu shots are a good investment, a new survey found.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sept. 19 urged all health care personnel to get flu vaccinations. The CDC also released the results of a survey of 1,882 health care clinicians meant to determine what factors influenced those who got the shots

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Among its findings, when workplaces offered free shots on-site, compliance was 61.6% when the vaccinations were offered for one day only. When they were offered for multiple days, compliance rose to 80.4%.When employers did not offer the shots at all, compliance dropped to 49.0%.

The survey also analyzed the compliance rates by job title. Physicians were most likely to get vaccinated (92.2%), followed by nurses (90.5%), physician assistants and nurse practitioners (89.6%), pharmacists (85.7%), and other clinical personnel (87.4%). In lower level jobs, compliance dropped sharply. Medical assistants and aides had a 57.7% compliance rate.

Among non-clinical workers compliance was 68.6%. In health care settings where vaccination was required, 97.8% got vaccinated compared to 47.9% where it was not required. Promoting vaccination seemed to work—compliance in such workplaces rose to 72.4%.

Among those who declined to be vaccinated, the most common reasons given were “I might get sick from the vaccine” or “I don’t think that flu vaccines work,” or “I don’t need it.”

The study was commissioned by the CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices. Abt Associates of Cambridge, MA did the survey.

The poll also found that during the 2013-2014 flu season, 36% of health care personnel worked in settings where vaccination was required. There has been union resistance to such rules in some states, including New York.

Nationally, 36% of health care workers were employed in places where shots were mandatory.