For every 15 healthcare providers who receive the influenza vaccination, one fewer person in the community will contract an influenza-like illness, according to a study using California public health data from 2009 to 2012.
Research analyzed archival data from the California Department of Public Health to determine the relationship between vaccinating healthcare personnel against influenza and the rate of influenza-like illness in the surrounding community.
“This study suggests that there is a strong connection between how many healthcare personnel are vaccinated against the flu and how many cases of influenza-like illnesses are reported in the community,” said James F. Marx, PhD, RN, CIC, investigator and founder of Broad Street Solutions, an infection prevention consultancy. “More research would be helpful to further understand the impact of vaccinating healthcare workers on community influenza rates.”
For the 2011-2012 influenza season, the influenza vaccination rate of California hospital healthcare personnel was 68%. According to Marx, if 90 percent of California healthcare personnel were vaccinated — the goal set by the federal government’s Healthy People 2020 initiative — there would be about 30,000 fewer cases of influenza-like illness in California.
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