Influenza vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) has been recommended for more than 30 years. In 2009, HCWs were designated as a priority group by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current HCW vaccination rates are 78% across all settings and reach approximately 92% among those employed in hospital settings. Over the last decade, it has become clear that mandatory vaccine policies result in maximal rates of HCW immunization.
In this observational 10-year study, we describe the implementation of a mandatory influenza vaccination policy in a dedicated quaternary pediatric hospital setting by a multidisciplinary team. We analyzed 10 years of available data from deidentified occupational health records from 2009-2010 through the 2018-2019 influenza seasons. Descriptive statistics were performed using Stata v15 and Excel.
Sustained increases in HCW immunization rates above 99% were observed in the 10 years postimplementation, in addition to a reduction in exemption requests and healthcare-associated influenza. In the year of implementation, 145 (1.6%) HCWs were placed on temporary suspension for failure to receive the vaccine without documentation of an exemption, with 9 (0.06%) subsequently being terminated. Since then, between 0 and 3 HCWs are terminated yearly for failure to receive the vaccine.
Implementation of our mandatory influenza vaccination program succeeded in successfully increasing the proportion of immunized HCWs at a quaternary care children’s hospital, reducing annual exemption requests with a small number of terminations secondary to vaccine refusal. Temporal trends suggest a positive impact on the safety of our patients.

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