Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 2,550 randomly sampled US NHs was conducted in 2014. Data on influenza vaccination policies for staff and residents and perceived infection challenges were obtained. Results were linked to Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting, which contains NH facility characteristics and number of residents who received influenza vaccination within the previous year. Descriptive and chi-square statistics were computed.
Results: Completed surveys were received from 990 NHs (39% response); a complete case analysis of 874 surveys was performed. On average, there were 97 residents per facility during 2013 and the majority of NHs (72%) were located in metropolitan settings compared to urban and rural. Almost all NHs (>99%) reported that the influenza vaccination was provided to their residents; however, on average, only 70% of residents in those facilities received the vaccine. Less than half of NHs (38%) required staff to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine. If staff refused vaccination, 78% of NHs requiring vaccination required a declination statement, 26% required staff to wear masks during influenza season, and 6% prohibited staff from working. Influenza was ranked as one of the top three infection challenges in 13% of NHs. There were no significant associations between perceived influenza challenges and staff vaccination policies.
Conclusion: The proportion of influenza vaccinated NH residents remains well below target rates. There are vaccination policies in place for staff, but their relationship with perceived challenges for influenza are unclear. Identifying determinants of vaccination uptake of both staff and residents in NHs as well as succesful initiatives to ensure receipt of influenza vaccination are necessary to close the gap in coverage.
M. Pogorzelska-Maziarz, None
N. Castle, None
P. Stone, None
J. Engberg, None