The ACP recommends 'flu vaccination for frontline healthcare workers

Influenza infects around 20% of the US population and results in 200,000 hospitalisations annually. It kills about 36,000 citizens. In the USA, only 36% of all healthcare workers are immunised against influenza annually, and now the American College of Physicians (ACP)

has added its voice to those of many major professional medical societies that have endorsed and published recommendations for annual immunisation of healthcare workers who are in direct contact with patients. The ACP is encouraging those organisations to establish vaccination programmes, staff and physician education on this immunisation, and much else. However, healthcare workers with contra-indications to influenza immunisation, or religious objections to it, or those who want to opt out and will sign an informed declination, would be exempted.
Transmission of influenza from healthcare workers to patients has been recorded in nearly all healthcare settings. Additionally, multiple studies have shown that around 70% of healthcare workers turn up for work despite having influenza, putting not only other staff and patients at risk of illness, or even death, but which could also cause medical errors by those too ill to work, Vincenza Snow MD FACP, Director of Clinical Programmes and Quality of Care at ACP, has pointed out.

30.10.2007

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