Vaccination coverage among healthcare personnel was 72% for the 2012-13 influenza season, an increase from 66.9% in the 2011-12 season, according to a CDC report.
Coverage was higher than the overall rate for healthcare personnel working in settings with vaccination requirements (96.5%) and for physicians (92.3%), CDC researchers wrote in the Sept. 27 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Data on vaccination rates came from an opt-in Internet panel survey of 1,944 self-selected healthcare personnel conducted April 116.
By occupation type, coverage was 92.3% among physicians, 89.1% among pharmacists, 88.5% among nurse practitioners/physician assistants, 84.8% among nurses, 68.6% among other clinical personnel and 64.8% among nonclinical personnel.
By occupational setting, vaccination coverage was highest among hospital-based healthcare personnel (83.1%) and lowest among healthcare personnel at long-term care facilities (58.9%).
Vaccination of healthcare personnel in long-term care facilities is extremely important given that influenza vaccine effectiveness is generally lowest in the elderly, making vaccination of close contacts even more critical, the authors wrote. In addition, multiple studies have demonstrated health benefit to patients, including reduced risk for death, with vaccination of healthcare personnel in long-term care facilities.
More efforts are needed to implement evidence-based strategies to increase influenza vaccination coverage among healthcare personnel in long-term care facilities, the authors wrote, including promoting vaccination and providing vaccine at low or no cost.
Vaccination coverage was higher for healthcare personnel in occupational settings offering vaccination on-site at no cost for one (75.7%) or multiple (86.2%) days, compared with healthcare personnel in occupational settings that did not offer vaccination on-site at no cost (55.3%).
A total of 10.1% of healthcare personnel at long-term care facilities reported their facility made vaccine available at no cost for more than one day, while 30.5% reported their facility neither required nor promoted vaccination.
In contrast, 58% of hospital healthcare personnel reported their facility made vaccine available at no cost for more than one day, and 19.4% reported their facility neither promoted nor required vaccination.