Saturday, January 28, 2012

Effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccination in healthcare workers: a systematic review.

J Hosp Infect. 2011 Dec;79(4):279-86.  Abstract is here.
Infectious Disease Control Training Centre, Hospital Authority/Infection Control Branch, Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Vaccination is considered a key measure to protect vulnerable groups against influenza infection. The objectives of this review are to determine the effect of influenza vaccinations in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza infections, influenza-like illnesses (ILIs), working days lost among vaccinated HCWs, and associated adverse effects after vaccination. Twenty-two healthcare-related databases and internet resources, as well as reference lists, and the bibliographies of all of the retrieved articles were examined. All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the effectiveness of any kind of influenza vaccine among all groups of HCWs with a placebo/vaccine other than the influenza vaccine/no intervention were included in the review. Only three RCTs matched the inclusion criteria.

There is a limited amount of evidence suggesting that receiving influenza vaccination reduces laboratory-confirmed influenza infections in HCWs. No evidence can be found of influenza vaccinations significantly reducing the incidence of influenza, number of ILI episodes, days with ILI symptoms, or amount of sick leave taken among vaccinated HCWs. There is insufficient data to assess the adverse effects after vaccination. There is no definitive conclusion on the effectiveness of influenza vaccinations in HCWs because of the limited number of related trials. Further research is necessary to evaluate whether annual vaccination is a key measure to protect HCWs against influenza infection and thus increase their confidence in the vaccine. In the mean time, the direction of promoting influenza vaccination to HCWs can be shifted from staff protection to patient protection, with accurate information to address concerns and misconceptions.
And in Germany, only 20% of health care workers acept flu vaccine:
Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2011 Jun;136(24):1299-304.


Institut für Virologie, Universitätsklinikum Essen.


BACKGROUND AND OBJEKTIVES: In 1988 the German Vaccination Board (STIKO) at the Robert-Koch-Institute (RKI) in Berlin, recommended that German health care workers should be vaccinated annually against influenza. Despite this, vaccination rates have remained low (20%). Between January and March 2009 a study was performed at the University Clinical Centre in Essen to determine reasons for low influenza vaccination rates and to assess improvement strategies...

The vaccination rate of 29% among this group of health care workers was higher than the average (20%) in German hospitals and highest among medical doctors...

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