UDOH: 95% of Healthcare Workers Got a Flu Shot
The Utah Department of Health has released a report detailing the influenza vaccination rates of hospital workers.
In 2008, 75% of health care workers in Utah received a flu vaccine. This flu season, more than 95% of hospital employees received a flu shot. That’s a 20% increase since the health department began releasing an annual report eight years ago.
“The goal is to have healthy healthcare workers so that patients can go to the doctor, go to the hospital, and not fear that they will become sick while they’re at the hospital,” says Susan Mottice, an epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health.
She adds that it’s especially important when healthcare workers are caring for sick patients with compromised immune systems.
“It really pays,” Mottice says, “to look, as a consumer, at this report and say, ‘Do I want to go to a hospital where they have a high rate of vaccination, or do I want to go to a hospital where they have a low rate of vaccination?’”
Not all Utah health care facilities require their employees to get yearly flu shots. But Mottice says 85% of hospitals in the state do have a mandatory policy, and they have consistently higher rates of vaccinated employees than hospitals that don’t require the vaccine.