What Is the Impact of Workplace Policies to Promote Influenza Vaccination Among Health Care Personnel?
Apr 20, 2011
Published in: Vaccine, v. 29, no. 16, Apr. 5, 2011, p. 2978-2985
Posted on RAND.org on January 31, 2011
BACKGROUND: Survey data suggest that, in a typical year, less than half U.S. healthcare personnel (HCP) are vaccinated for influenza. We measured workplace efforts to promote influenza vaccination among HCP in the U.S. and their association with seasonal and pandemic vaccination during the 2009-10 influenza season. METHODS: Self-reported survey data collected in June 2010 from eligible HCP (n = 1714) participating in a nationally representative, online research panel. HCP eligible for participation in the survey were those reporting as patient care providers and/or working in a healthcare setting. The survey measured workplace exposure to vaccination recommendations, vaccination requirements, on-site vaccination, reminders, and/or rewards, and being vaccinated for seasonal or H1N1 influenza. RESULTS: At least two-thirds of HCP were offered worksite influenza vaccination; about one half received reminders; and 10% were required to be vaccinated. Compared to HCP in other work settings, hospital employees were most (p < 0.001) likely to be the subject to efforts to promote vaccination. Vaccination requirements were associated with increases in seasonal and pandemic vaccination rates of between 31 and 49% points (p < 0.005). On-site vaccination was associated with increases in seasonal and pandemic vaccination of between 13 and 29% points (p < 0.05). Reminders and incentives were not associated with vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide empirical support for vaccination requirements as a strategy for increasing influenza vaccination among HCP. Our findings also suggest that making influenza vaccination available to HCP at work could increase uptake and highlight the need to reach beyond hospitals in promoting vaccination among HCP.