Volume 57, Issue 12 p. 2253-2256

Beliefs on Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Workers in Nursing Homes: A Questionnaire Study from the Netherlands

Ingrid Looijmans-van den Akker MD, PhD

Ingrid Looijmans-van den Akker MD, PhD

From the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Health Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Badyr Marsaoui MD

Badyr Marsaoui MD

From the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Health Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Eelko Hak MSc, PhD

Eelko Hak MSc, PhD

From the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Health Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

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Johannes J. M. Van Delden MD, PhD

Johannes J. M. Van Delden MD, PhD

From the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Health Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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First published: 07 December 2009
Citations: 16
Address correspondence to I. Looijmans-van den Akker, University Medical Center Utrecht, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Health Care, HP 6.131 (room S4.149), P O Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands. E-mail: [email protected]

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To assess whether nursing homes (NHs) made organizational improvements to increase influenza vaccination rates in healthcare workers (HCWs) and to quantify the beliefs of NH administrators on the arguments used in favor of implementation of mandatory influenza vaccination of HCWs.

DESIGN: Anonymous questionnaire study.

SETTING: Dutch NHs.

PARTICIPANTS: Dutch NH administrators.

MEASUREMENTS: Influenza vaccination rates in NH residents and NH HCWs, organizational aspects of influenza vaccination of HCWs, and agreement of respondents with arguments in favor of implementation of mandatory influenza vaccination in HCWs.

RESULTS: Of the 310 distributed questionnaires, 185 were returned (response rate 59.7%). The average vaccination rate in NH HCWs was 18.8% and in NH residents was 91.6%. In all, 126 (68.1%) NHs had a written policy, 161 (87.0%) actively requested that their employees be immunized, and 161 (87.0%) offered information to HCWs in any way. Despite the fact that the majority of NH administrators (>69%) agreed with all arguments in favor of implementation of mandatory influenza vaccination, only a minority (24.3%) agreed that mandatory vaccination should be implemented if voluntary vaccination fails to reach sufficient vaccination rates.

CONCLUSION: Despite the low vaccination rate of NH HCWs, most NH administrators did not support mandatory influenza vaccination of NH HCWs.