An effective strategy for influenza vaccination of healthcare workers in Australia: experience at a large health service without a mandatory policy
AuthorHeinrich-Morrison, K; McLellan, S; McGinnes, U; Carroll, B; Watson, K; Bass, P; Worth, LJ; Cheng, AC
Source TitleBMC Infectious Diseases
AffiliationMicrobiology and Immunology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHeinrich-Morrison, K., McLellan, S., McGinnes, U., Carroll, B., Watson, K., Bass, P., Worth, L. J. & Cheng, A. C. (2015). An effective strategy for influenza vaccination of healthcare workers in Australia: experience at a large health service without a mandatory policy. BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES, 15 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-015-0765-7.
Access StatusOpen Access
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 < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: A non-mandatory multimodal strategy utilising social marketing and a customised staff database was successful in increasing influenza vaccination uptake by all staff categories. The sustainability of dedicated campaigns must be evaluated.
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