Healthcare Personnel Influenza Vaccination In South Carolina Hospitals, 2020-2021
Health care personnel (HCP) are at risk of transmitting influenza – also known as the flu – to their patients, co-workers, and families if they become infected. Benefits of receiving the annual influenza vaccination among HCP include lower risk of transmission to patients and family members and reduced time missed from work. In South Carolina, many hospitals require the influenza vaccination as a requirement for employment, furthering their commitment to the health of South Carolinians.
This report presents data from 82 South Carolina hospitals for the 2020-2021 influenza season (Oct. 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021).
Overall, South Carolina hospitals reached 91 percent influenza vaccination among all HCP in 2020-21, a slight increase from the previous influenza season. 49 hospitals reported HCP vaccination rates greater than the state average (90.77 percent) while 30 reported rates below the average, and three facilities reported rates equal to the average, after rounding.
Despite a removal of a key Joint Commission standard, which encouraged hospitals to reach a 90 percent influenza vaccination coverage rate amongst healthcare workers, a large percentage of hospitals still chose to require the influenza vaccination as a condition of employment. This result is encouraging, and suggests that knowledge and opinions surrounding vaccination have been improved as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the removal of Joint Commission guidelines requiring hospitals to establish vaccination standards, 90.77 percent of Healthcare Personnel (HCP) in South Carolina received their influenza vaccination in the 2020-21 influenza season. There had previously been a decline in overall vaccination rates for the past two influenza seasons.
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