Influenza and Health Care Workers (HCW)

HCWs are highly exposed to influenza during epidemics

HCW are at risk of acquiring influenza during epidemics:

  • from direct patient contact
  • from the general community

And thus, serve as an important reservoir for patients under their care.

    D Salgado, Influenza in the acute hospital setting, THE LANCET Infectious Diseases Vol 2 March 2002

The WHO recommends influenza vaccination for HCWs

Influenza infections can have a specific impact in this population in different ways1,2

  • High risk of exposure
  • Illness in staff and loss of staff time (economic and health service function)
  • Capable of transmitting influenza to those at high risk of influenza-related complications
    1. Dolan GP, et al. Emerg Infect Dis 2012;18(8):1225.
    2. Ahmed F, et al. Clin Infect Dis 2014; 58(1):50

Physician recommendation is a key driver for influenza vaccination

“Of factors that might be associated with influenza vaccination status, including race and gender, the most important was a recommendation for vaccination by a health-care provider” – MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1988; 37(43):657

Patient Attitude Physician Recommendation Percent Vaccinated
Positive Yes 87
Negative Yes 70
Positive No 8
Negative no 7

    CDC. Adult immunization: knowledge, attitudes, and practices 1988. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1988; 37(43):657