Background: Approximately 18 million healthcare personnel (HCP) work in healthcare settings, which are known sites of influenza transmission. All U.S. HCP are recommended to get annual influenza vaccination, but coverage remains suboptimal. Employer influenza vaccination requirements are associated with higher coverage. Our objective was to explore attitudes associated with employer influenza vaccination requirements among HCP nationwide.
Methods: In a national nonprobability Internet panel survey of HCP during the 2015–16 influenza season, respondents were asked to rate their agreement with the statement “Health care workers should be required to be vaccinated for flu.” Responses were weighted to the U.S. population of HCP by age, sex, race/ethnicity, work setting, and census region. We determined the weighted percentage of HCP who expressed agreement with the statement by occupation, healthcare setting, vaccine receipt, and employer promotion efforts.
Results: Overall, 72.3% of 2,258 respondents expressed agreement with vaccination requirements. Specifically, 75.9% of those working in hospitals, 71.6% in ambulatory care, and 70.7% in long-term care expressed agreement. Also, 88.0% of physicians, 80.6% of nurse practitioners/physician assistants, 72.0% of nurses, and 65.6% of assistants/aides expressed agreement. In total, 81.6% of those who received influenza vaccination during the 2015–16 season expressed agreement with vaccination requirements vs. 37.1% of those not vaccinated. Of the 37.8% respondents working in settings where vaccination was required, 82.7% expressed agreement with vaccination requirements vs. 54.7% of those working in settings where there was no a requirement, onsite vaccination, or promotion efforts.
Conclusion: The majority of HCP from all occupational groups and healthcare settings agreed with vaccination requirements, including 37% of those not vaccinated. Wider adoption of employer vaccination requirements in all healthcare settings has support, can increase HCP influenza vaccination, and may reduce influenza transmission in healthcare settings. Implementing vaccination requirements should include interventions known to improve coverage, such as offering vaccine on-site at no cost.
M. De Perio,
A. S. Laney, None
S. Greby, None
C. Black, None