Here are some facts published in Hospital Employee Health - March 2003:
- Death rates from influenza are rising with the aging of the U.S. population.
- According to the CDC, the virus now kills an average of 36,000 people a year.
- The virus can lead to dangerous complications in the elderly or immune-compromised.
- According to CDC, influenza is one of the major infectious disease causes of death in the country.
- CDC also notes that in a severe season deaths could be as high as 70,000 with 90% of those deaths occurring among people who are 65 years of age or older.
- Priority targets for vaccination include the elderly, chronically ill and health care workers.
- According to a national health survey, only about 38% of health care workers receive the flu vaccine.
The article recommendations include:
- Making the program accessible to employees.
- Continue to give vaccinations beyond October and November.
Become proactive. Now is the time to implement a strategy for vaccination!
The most common reason employees are not vaccinated stems from the common misconception that influenza can be acquired as a result. This of course is not possible! So, order your vaccine soon, and develop a strategy to encourage all employees and your elderly patients to get vaccinated