More Than Half of Nursing Home Staff Have Not Received the Influenza Vaccine

MD Peers & Perspectives , March 2015,

While 7,300 deaths a year in nursing homes are attributed to influenza, only 54% of staff were vaccinated.

While 7,300 deaths a year in nursing homes are attributed to influenza, a

published in the

(AJIC) claimed that only 54% of staff were vaccinated.

studyAmerican Journal of Infection Control

Researchers from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and the Florida Health Care Association accessed the immunization data of 1,965 employees working at 37 agencies in FL, GA, and WI.

In doing so, the researchers also found that only 54% of staff were vaccinated, compared to 72 percent of nursing home residents. Black and younger staff were also discovered to be less likely to receive the shot.

Upon exploring for reasons why employees don’t get flu vaccinations, the investigators discovered 40% of participants thought the vaccine led to influenza. The researchers also mentioned that participants were 30% more likely to get the treatment if they believed the treatment was effective. Overall, they determined black and FL employees held beliefs linked to lower vaccination likelihood.

“Registered nurses are nearly 16 percentage points more likely to agree that their nursing home residents are at risk of contracting influenza than nonclinical staff members. The vaccination status of administrators and leaders in the nursing homes did not have an impact on staff beliefs about influenza,” the investigators also

.

noted

As a result, the researchers recommended the implementation of an incentive program, which would reward vaccinated employees and encouraged more research to look into how it can be achieved.

"Vaccination rates would be higher if staff held accurate beliefs about vaccination and influenza," the authors determined.