Flu Vaccination Rates in Healthcare

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Student Affairs
Date Started: 
August 2011
There is a strong push from multiple professional and infection prevention groups to ensure that all health care workers are immunized each year against influenza, both as a patient safety initiative as well as to protect the individual worker and his/her co-workers. In many cases, the recommendation has been for health care facilities to mandate annual vaccination due to historically low numbers of HCWs being immunized each year.

In the past few years, the definition of health care workers has changed to include all paid and volunteer staff working at the health facility. Healthy People 2020 set a goal that at least 90% of all health care workers receive the influenza vaccine each year. Since vaccination of PSU employees for influenza has been done by Health Matters, it is not clear how many UHS health care workers are immunized each year.

In accordance with Healthy People 2020 and recommendations from the PA Department of Health, UHS has set a goal of >90% of all UHS staff will receive the influenza vaccine for the 2011-2012 flu season.

Team Update

The ICP Committee launched an influenza vaccination campaign for all UHS HCPs, titled “I Care About You!”. Teams were created, ICP Committee members were assigned as team captains, promotional information was distributed. Since previous years’ immunization rates were not available, it was decided not to mandate the vaccine for UHS this flu season, collect data from this year, and offer incentives for getting vaccinated. Inexpensive incentives, that the Committee felt would be most motivating to staff were selected included:
1. Jeans Pass to everyone immunized to be used on a Friday of their choosing
2. Additional Jeans Passes to first team to reach 90% participation (only for participants) on a Friday of their choosing
3. Additional Jeans Passes and pizza party for all teams that reached 100% participation

Two free vaccine clinics were scheduled at UHS for staff. Anyone who was not able to make either of the clinics, was encouraged to either come to one of the UHS student vaccine clinics or contact Clinical Services to receive vaccine. In addition, intranasal vaccine and thimerosal-free injectable vaccine were also available for staff that had a fear of needles or medical contraindication to thimerosal. Free vaccine was also provided to students during scheduled meeting times.

The goal of 90% of UHS HCPs immunized against influenza for this season was met.

There was, however, one group that was concerning and had a significantly lower vaccination rate: PT student workers/volunteers. Despite attempts to reach out to this group, only 47% received the vaccine. This was in sharp contrast to other student groups working at UHS (Clinical Interns = 100%; EMS = 100%, HPW = 92%). It is uncertain why this group was resistant to receiving the vaccine but efforts will be targeted at improving vaccine rates among PT student workers next flu season.

Will send letters to all UHS volunteers telling them that it is an expectation at UHS that they will be vaccinated against seasonal flu unless there is a medical contraindication.

June 8, 2012

Contact Person: 
Nancy Lambert
  • Shelley Haffner, Leader
  • Karen Bascom, Member
  • Michele Brown, Member
  • Vicki Dugan, Member
  • Patricia Grieb, Member
  • Micaela Hayes, Member
  • Karen Horst, Member
  • Wendy Krammes, Member
  • Nancy Lambert, Member
  • Connie Neidig, Member
  • Sheila Simcox, Member
  • Rachel Urwin, Member