August 1, 2007

CDC Recommends Influenza Vaccine for

flu shot nurse 3Federal officials are urging influenza vaccination for all health care workers (HCWs) as part of a strategy to boost immunization rates for influenza.

Estimated coverage rates are less than 50 percent among critical groups for whom annual influenza vaccination is recommended, including HCWs, young children, adults with risk factors for influenza complications, and pregnant women.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends implementing or expanding strategies such as reminder/recall systems and standing orders programs. Among other considerations, CDC states that health care facilities should consider the level of vaccination coverage among HCWs to be one measure of patient safety and quality. In a move previously supported by IDSA, CDC suggests obtaining signed statements from HCWs who decline influenza vaccination.

The report makes no changes concerning the groups for whom vaccination is recommended or the antiviral medications used for chemoprophylaxis or treatment (oseltamivir or zanamivir).

 Click here for the full report. For more information, see

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