Mandatory Influenza Vaccinations?

Angie SzumlinskiHealth

Preventing influenza infections is a national health priority, particularly among geriatric and adults with frailty who reside in post-acute and long-term care settings. Older adults account for more than 70% of deaths from influenza, a reflection of decreased vaccine effectiveness in that age group. Per the AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine Policy Statement on Influenza Vaccination for Health Care Personnel:

AMDA – Supports mandatory annual influenza vaccination for all post-acute and long-term care health care personnel (HCP) unless there is a medical contraindication. All HCP should be included in mandatory influenza vaccination programs even those with indirect contact, have the potential to be in proximity to residents which can allow for transmission of infection.

The Society supports education for HCP on the efficacy and safety of influenza vaccination in general and as an important measure to enhance resident safety. It further recommends that medical directors and other practitioners encourage professional healthcare works and family caregivers to obtain an annual vaccination.

In addition, the Society recommends that HCP who do not receive an influenza vaccination must wear personal protective masks when in direct resident contact during influenza season (October through April). The Society also recommends targeted education to any HCP who do not receive an influenza vaccination.

Finally, following Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations, the Society recommends annual influenza vaccinations be made available and offered at no cost to all HCP working or volunteering in post-acute and long-term care settings.