Many U.S. hospitals still did not have influenza vaccination requirements for health care personnel as of summer 2017, suggested the results of a national survey.
Nearly two-thirds of hospitals had mandatory influenza vaccination in place in 2017, up from just one-third in 2013, according to survey responses submitted by infection preventionists working at Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals.M. Todd Greene, PhD, MPH, with the Patient Safety Enhancement Program at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System/University of Michigan and his coauthors.
Despite recommendations to vaccinate health care personnel against influenza, there are several challenges and barriers to implementing the practice, the authors wrote in JAMA Network Open.
“Mandating influenza vaccination remains a controversial topic, with uncertainty of the effectiveness of health care personnel influenza vaccination in reducing patient morbidity and mortality, different conclusions regarding the grading of the evidence, and numerous legal and ethical precedents to be carefully considered,” they wrote.
Their study was based on 1,062 responses to a panel survey of infection preventionists conducted every 4 years. The survey asked providers about practices used in their hospitals to prevent health care–associated infections.
Compared with 2013, when only 37.1% of non-VA hospitals had mandatory influenza vaccination requirements, the 2017 survey showed a significant increase to 61.4% (P less than .001), Dr. Greene and his colleagues wrote in their report.