As flu season starts all around the United States, the issue continues to come up: What about vaccination for health care workers -- doctors, nurses, and people who have any clinical contact with patients?
The CDC, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) recommend that all U.S. health care workers get vaccinated annually against influenza. While the recommendation is strong, the implementation tends to fall short. Overall, the number of health care workers who reported having had an influenza vaccination increased in the 2012-13 influenza season compared to the 2011-12 season. The coverage rate for health care workers was estimated at 72% for the 2012-13 season, an increase from 66.9% in the 2011-12 season and 63.5% in the 2010-11 season. Coverage was highest among health care workers working in occupational settings with vaccination requirements (96.5%) and physicians (92.3%).