An effective strategy for influenza vaccination of healthcare workers in Australia: experience at a large health service without a mandatory policy

Kristina A Heinrich-Morrison, Susan L F McLellan, Ursula McGinnes, Brendan Carroll, Kerrie M Watson, Pauline Bass, Leon J Worth, Allen Cheuk-Seng Cheng

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Background Annual influenza vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) is recommended in Australia, but uptake in healthcare facilities has historically been low (approximately 50 ). The objective of this study was to develop and implement a dedicated campaign to improve uptake of staff influenza annual vaccination at a large Australian health service. Methods A quality improvement program was developed at Alfred Health, a tertiary metropolitan health service spanning 3 campuses. Pre-campaign evaluation was performed by questionnaire in 2013 to plan a multimodal vaccination strategy. Reasons for and against vaccination were captured. A campaign targeting clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers was then implemented between March 31 and July 31 2014. Proportional uptake of influenza vaccination was determined by campus and staff category. Results Pre-campaign questionnaire responses were received from 1328/6879 HCWs (response rate 20.4 ), of which 76 were vaccinated. Common beliefs held by unvaccinated staff included vaccine ineffectiveness (37.1 ), that vaccination makes staff unwell (21.0 ), or that vaccination is not required because staff are at low risk for acquiring influenza (20.2 ). In 2014, 6009/7480 (80.3 ) staff were vaccinated, with significant improvement in uptake across all campuses and amongst nursing, medical and allied health staff categories from 2013 to 2014 (p?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 8
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1(Art. No: 42)
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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