Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Influenza Vaccinations Continue to Increase Among Utah Healthcare Workers

(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) released the annual Healthcare Worker (HCW) Influenza Vaccination Coverage Report for HCWs in licensed* Utah hospitals. The report shows healthcare worker coverage rates have consistently increased, from 75.5 percent in 2008 to 96.7 percent in 2015.

The report lists all reporting licensed Utah hospitals, along with their influenza vaccination rates for hospital HCWs, for the 2014-2015 influenza season. It is available on the UDOH Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) website at

“Influenza is a serious infection, and unvaccinated healthcare workers who become infected can put patients at risk for serious complications,” said Sherry Varley, HAI Program Manager, UDOH.

The UDOH and UHIP GC recognize that influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel is a critical patient safety practice. Both agree that compulsory influenza vaccination for HCWs should be implemented in all healthcare facilities unless a healthcare facility has achieved a vaccination rate of 95 percent or greater by some other means.

In November 2007, the UDOH adopted a Healthcare Associated Infections reporting rule (Rule‐386‐705, Epidemiology, Healthcare Associated Infection). This rule requires that hospitals report healthcare worker influenza vaccination rates.

This report was developed by the UDOH in partnership with the Utah Healthcare Infection Prevention Governance Committee (UHIP GC). It will allow Utahns to compare influenza vaccination rates for healthcare workers among licensed hospitals in Utah.

In April 2011, the UHIP GC recommended that all healthcare delivery facilities in
Utah implement a policy of compulsory annual influenza vaccination for all healthcare personnel. While Utah hospitals are not required to have mandatory influenza vaccination programs for healthcare workers, 78 percent of Utah healthcare facilities that reported have compulsory programs in place; and of those, 96 percent have HCW influenza vaccination rates of 90 percent or greater. “It is clear that facilities that implement compulsory influenza vaccination policies for employees have higher HCW influenza vaccination rates than those who do not,” said Varley. Healthcare organizations that do not have an effective HCW influenza vaccination policy are strongly encouraged to develop one.

Visit for more information about UHIP GC members.

*Licensed hospitals include acute care, long-term acute care, critical access, rehabilitation, psychiatric, government and children’s hospitals.

Media Contact:
Rebecca Ward
(o) 801-538-6682
(c) 801-352-1270