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To characterize health professional schools by their vaccination policies for acceptable forms of evidence of immunity and exemptions permitted.
Data were collected between September 2011 and April 2012 using an Internet-based survey e-mailed to selected types of accredited health professional programs. Schools were identified through accrediting associations for each type of health professional program. Analysis was limited to schools requiring ≥1 vaccine recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP): measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, varicella, pertussis, and influenza. Weighted bivariate frequencies were generated using SAS 9.3.
Of 2,775 schools surveyed, 75% (n=2,077) responded; of responding schools, 93% (1947) required ≥1 ACIP-recommended vaccination. The proportion of schools accepting ≥1 non–ACIP-recommended form of evidence of immunity varied by vaccine: 42% for pertussis, 37% for influenza, 30% for rubella, 22% for hepatitis B, 18% for varicella, and 9% for measles and mumps. Among schools with ≥1 vaccination requirement, medical exemptions were permitted for ≥1 vaccine by 75% of schools; 54% permitted religious exemptions; 35% permitted personal belief exemptions; 58% permitted any nonmedical exemption.
Many schools accept non–ACIP-recommended forms of evidence of immunity which could lead some students to believe they are protected from vaccine preventable diseases when they may be susceptible. Additional efforts are needed to better educate school officials about current ACIP recommendations for acceptable forms of evidence of immunity so school policies can be revised as needed.
We sought to estimate influenza vaccination coverage among healthcare workers (HCWs) in the United States during 1989-2002 and to identify factors associated with vaccination in this group. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual influenza vaccination for HCWs to reduce transmission of influenza to patients at high risk for serious complications of influenza.
Analysis of cross-sectional data from 1989-2002 surveys conducted by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The outcome measure was self-reported influenza vaccination in the past 12 months. Bivariate and multivariate analysis of 2002 NHIS data.
Household interviews conducted during 1989-2002, weighted to reflect the noninstitutionalized, civilian US population.
Adults aged 18 years or older participated in the study. A total of 2,089 were employed in healthcare occupations or settings in 2002, and 17,160 were employed in nonhealthcare occupations or settings.
The influenza vaccination rate among US HCWs increased from 10.0% in 1989 to 38.4% in 2002, with no significant change since 1997. In a multivariate model that included data from the 2002 NHIS, factors associated with a higher rate of influenza vaccination among HCWs aged 18-64 years included age of 50 years or older (odds ratio [OR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-2.1), hospital employee status (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2-1.9), 1 or more visits to the office of a healthcare professional in the past 12 months (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2.2), receipt of employer-provided health insurance (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2.1), a history of pneumococcal vaccination (OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 2.5-6.1), and history of hepatitis B vaccination (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.4-2.4). Non-Hispanic black persons were less likely to be vaccinated (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5-0.9) than non-Hispanic white persons. There were no significant differences in vaccination levels according to HCW occupation category.
Influenza immunization among HCWs reached a plateau during 1997-2002. New strategies are needed to encourage US HCWs to receive influenza vaccination to prevent influenza illness in themselves and transmission of influenza to vulnerable patients.
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