• Strategies to address poor influenza vaccine compliance in healthcare workers

      Sadlier, C; Carr, A; Kelly, S; Bergin, C (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-05)
      Influenza vaccines are safe and have the potential to prevent significant morbidity and mortality 1 . Healthcare Workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of influenza infection 2 . There are many reports of influenza outbreaks where unvaccinated HCWs have infected patients and facilitated onward spread of infection 3,4 . Vaccinating HCWs reduces influenza-related morbidity and mortality in vaccine recipients and in high-risk patients. Another benefit is reduction of staff illness and absenteeism during the influenza period 5 . Despite longstanding recommendation for annual influenza vaccine in HCWs, uptake remains poor (17% across acute hospitals in Ireland in 2012-2013) 6 . A dedicated vaccine-unit was established in the department of GU medicine and Infectious Diseases (GUIDE) St Jamesâ s Hospital, Dublin in 2002 to address poor vaccine uptake in attending HIV-infected patients. Targeted interventions including individualised vaccine passports, SMS text reminders along with patient education have facilitated improvement in vaccine coverage (influenza vaccine coverage >90% achieved in attending HIV-infected cohort (n~2000 in 2013-2014). Despite successes of the outpatient vaccine programme, influenza vaccine uptake in HCWs in GUIDE in 2011-2012 was only 52% (31/60). A staff survey was undertaken in April 2012 to investigate reasons for poor vaccine uptake. Here we report results of the survey and describe interventions employed to improve vaccine uptake