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CDC focuses flu vaccine drive on healthcare workers

Physician Practice Advisor, January 3, 2007

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) will continue efforts this year to urge all healthcare workers to receive flu vaccinations. The CDC will continue its 2006 campaign to convince healthcare workers of the importance of a flu shot, and in response to CDC concerns JCAHO will require hospitals to provide vaccination rates as part of the accreditation process, according to an article in the Houston Chronicle.

Only about 40% of healthcare workers get vaccinated, which leaves patients vulnerable to the flu, according to statistics from the CDC. As recently as 1989, only about 10% of healthcare workers got immunized, according to the article.

Studies show that immunizing healthcare staff can have a dramatic effect on patient health. In one study conducted in Scotland, raising the immunization rate among healthcare workers from 5% to 50% was associated with a nearly 40% drop in patient deaths, according to the article.

To read the full Houston Chronicle article, click here.