Revised SHEA position paper: Influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel

Thomas R. Talbot, Hilary Babcock, Arthur L. Caplan, Deborah Cotton, Lisa Maragakis, Gregory A. Poland, Edward J. Septimus, Michael L. Tapper, David J. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This document serves as an update and companion piece to the 2005 Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Position Paper entitled "Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Workers and Vaccine Allocation for Healthcare Workers During Vaccine Shortages."1 In large part, the discussion about the rationale for influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel (HCP), the strategies designed to improve influenza vaccination rates in this population, and the recommendations made in the 2005 paper still stand. This position paper notes new evidence released since publication of the 2005 paper and strengthens SHEA's position on the importance of influenza vaccination of HCP. This document does not discuss vaccine allocation during times of vaccine shortage, because the 2005 SHEA Position Paper1 still serves as the Society's official statement on that issue. SHEA views influenza vaccination of HCP as a core patient and HCP safety practice with which noncompliance should not be tolerated. It is the professional and ethical responsibility of HCP and the institutions within which they work to prevent the spread of infectious pathogens to their patients through evidence-based infection prevention practices, including influenza vaccination. Therefore, for the safety of both patients and HCP, SHEA endorses a policy in which annual influenza vaccination is a condition of both initial and continued HCP employment and/or professional privileges. The implementation of this policy should be part of a multifaceted, comprehensive influenza infection control program; it must have full, visible leadership support with the expectation for influenza vaccination fully and clearly communicated to all existing and applicant HCP; and it must have ample resources and support to implement and to sustain the HCP vaccination program. This recommendation applies to all HCP working in all healthcare settings, regardless of whether the HCP have direct patient contact or whether the HCP are directly employed by the facility. It also applies to all students, volunteers, and contract workers. SHEA recommends that only exemptions due to recognized medical contraindications to influenza vaccination be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-995
Number of pages9
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Volume31
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Talbot, T. R., Babcock, H., Caplan, A. L., Cotton, D., Maragakis, L., Poland, G. A., ... Weber, D. J. (2010). Revised SHEA position paper: Influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 31(10), 987-995. https://doi.org/10.1086/656558