An HHS committee issued five recommendations designed to boost vaccination rates among healthcare personnel to the 90% rate set forth as a goal of the government's Healthy People 2020 initiative.
HHS seeks to boost flu shots for healthcare workers
The National Vaccine Advisory Committee, in a 40-page report (PDF) requested by Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh, recommends three actions designed to boost vaccination rates. The committee recommends that healthcare employers and facilities establish and adopt comprehensive influenza infection-prevention programs as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; that employers and facilities integrate flu vaccination programs into existing infection-prevention programs or occupational health programs; and that the assistant secretary for health encourage the CDC and the CMS continue efforts to standardize the methodology used to measure vaccination rates across settings, linking vaccine coverage rates to quality improvement activities.
The committee also recommends that employers—including federally operated or qualified facilities—strongly consider requiring vaccination as terms of employment when the first three recommendations do not boost rates to 90%, and that the assistant secretary encourage ongoing efforts to develop new and improved vaccines and technologies.
The committee is seeking comment on the report.
The CDC this month reported that 63.4% of healthcare personnel had received flu vaccinations as of mid-November, up from 55.5% of personnel as of the same time last year. The current rate of vaccination for this flu season is already close to the 63.5% rate achieved in April of the last flu season, according to the CDC.
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