Public Health Reports 2012 Influenza Vaccine Rates for Local Healthcare Workers

Written by admin, October 4, 2013

October 4, 2013 – Average Vaccine Coverage Rates for Long Term Care Homes is 75%

Today Peterborough Public Health reported the rates of seasonal influenza vaccine uptake by healthcare workers (HCWs), including those who work in long-term care homes, retirement residences, the hospital, and at Public Health.

“I am concerned about the low staff immunization rates in many healthcare facilities because flu season is fast approaching and we know that it can be life-threatening for seniors, young children and other vulnerable populations,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “With better HCW influenza immunization, not only would it increase the level of protection in the community, it would reduce healthcare costs and staff absenteeism as more cases of influenza are averted.”

To improve HCW immunization rates, Public Health recommends asking local healthcare facilities to require immunization for all new hires.  The Board of Health has required annual immunization against influenza for all Public Health employees since 2002.

Influenza vaccine for the 2013-14 season has arrived at Public Health and is being distributed to long-term care homes and Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

Influenza can result in widespread illness, including outbreaks and pandemics.  It is associated with complications such as bacterial pneumonia and death.  Annual immunization of persons at high risk, and of HCWs and others, who are capable of transmitting influenza to those at risk, is the most effective measure for reducing the impact of influenza.

According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), each season 20% of healthcare workers get influenza, and 28% to 59% of young healthy adults who get it have asymptomatic or subclinical infections. Some of them may shed virus up to a day before symptoms appear.  NACI considers the provision of influenza vaccination for HCWs who have direct patient contact to be an essential component of the standard of care for the protection of their patients.

2012-13 Influenza Immunization Rates for Peterborough Healthcare Facilities
as of December 15, 2012

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
705-743-1000, ext. 391