Face-Mask Mandate Improved Flu Vaccination Rates Among HCWs
An influenza vaccination campaign that included a face-mask mandate for all unvaccinated health care workers (HCWs) led to a vaccination compliance rate of 95 percent at Geisinger Medical Centers in Pennsylvania during 2009, researchers report in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. "Establishing a tough and enforceable requirement that any unvaccinated individuals wear a mask for the entire flu season not only produced the vaccination compliance rates we wanted, but avoided unnecessary legal challenges and inspired an amazing amount of team spirit," said Dr. Lisa M. Esolen of Geisinger Health System. The analysis of the health system's vaccination campaign, implemented during the 2009-2010 flu season, included 12,363 HCWs employed at Geisinger Health System throughout the state. Unvaccinated employees were instructed to wear a surgical mask when they were within six feet of a patient during their shift. The campaign also included a vaccination effort that included increased vaccination hours, vaccination stations at HCW entrances and outside the cafeteria, and recruiting 150 "flu team captains" to decentralize vaccine supplies with vaccination kits. Compared with vaccination compliance rates of 47 percent in 2007 and 61 percent in 2008, vaccination compliance rates among HCWs were 95 percent during 2009 and 92 percent during 2010.
From "Face-Mask Mandate Improved Flu Vaccination Rates Among HCWs"
Pediatric Supersite (06/22/2011)