September 15, 2009
Many healthcare workers ignore flu shots
Nearly 50 percent of U.S. healthcare workers have decided against flu shots, said officials concerned about seasonal flu and a renewed outbreak of H1N1.
Doctors and nurses are most likely to get vaccinated while less likely are workers such as lab technicians, orderlies and housekeepers, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said. Nursing home workers are the least likely to get flu shots, the center said.
In a patient-care sort of setting, this is a big, big safety issue, said Jorge Parada, director of infection control at Loyola University Health System in Chicago.
Some workers ignore vaccines because they think they won't get sick, while other fear vaccines may do more harm than help, healthcare officials said.
This year, Loyola is mandating that all 7,825 of its employees be vaccinated for seasonal flu as a condition of employment. Loyola also may make swine flu vaccinations mandatory when the vaccine is ready in October, The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.
New York state has made flu vaccinations mandatory for all healthcare workers this year, the Tribune reported.