FLU NEWS SCAN: Flu vaccine uptake in health workers, pregnant women

Sep 27, 2012

Report: Two thirds of HCP got flu vaccine in 2011-12 season
Only two thirds of healthcare personnel (HCP) overall received influenza vaccine in the 2011-12 flu season, although they are urged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to be vaccinated each year, according to a study today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). CDC researchers in April conducted an Internet survey of 2,348 HCP, 1,724 (73.4%) of them clinical professionals such as physicians and nurses and 624 (26.6%) other HCP such as clerical workers and food service workers in healthcare settings. Flu vaccination was most common among physicians (85.6%), followed by nurses (77.9%), and other HCP (62.8%). Sliced another way, HCP in hospital settings had 76.9% coverage, in physician offices 67.7%, and in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) 52.4%. The three most common answers given by HCP for why they did not receive vaccination were that they did not think they needed it (28.1%), that they had concern about its effectiveness (26.4%), and that they had concern about side effects (25.1%). As stated in the study, "Widespread implementation of comprehensive HCP influenza vaccination strategies is needed, particularly among those who are not physicians or nurses and who work in LTCFs."
Sep 28 MMWR study on HCP coverage

Study: Provider's advice key to flu vaccine uptake in pregnant women
In another CDC study in MMWR today, researchers found that receiving advice about flu vaccination and being offered the vaccine contributed dramatically to whether pregnant woman got the flu shot. Researchers carried out an Internet survey in April 2012 of women who were pregnant at any time from October 2011 to January 2012 to determine how many had been vaccinated against influenza; ACIP recommends flu vaccination for all pregnant women regardless of trimester. Respondents numbered 1,660, of whom 47.0% overall reported receiving vaccination, with 9.9% before pregnancy, 36.5% during pregnancy, and less than 1.0% after pregnancy. Receipt of both their provider's recommendation plus the offer of vaccine were reported by 43.7% of women, 73.6% of whom received the vaccine. The number was much lower for women whose provider recommended vaccination but did not offer the vaccine—47.9%—and those receiving neither a recommendation of the vaccine offer—11%. Among other factors associated with higher coverage were having received vaccine during the previous flu season, a higher level of education, and older age. Reasons given by respondents for not receiving vaccination were concern that it would cause influenza, concern over safety for the baby, and thinking the vaccine was not effective.
Sep 28 MMWR study on pregnancy coverage

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