MHA strongly supports the goals of having a healthy workforce, which includes providing the necessary immunizations to ensure that our staff and our patients are protected.
We strongly support mandatory flu vaccination for all healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are the front-line stewards of public health and we believe that our commitment to safe patient care should carry the day in convincing staff to obtain the flu shot.
In addition, we commend the MA Department of Public Health for continuing to advance this important goal - to reach a goal of immunizing at least 90% of a healthcare facility's workforce against influenza. It is important that healthcare providers continue to learn from others, to find common solutions and best practices that can work in other healthcare facilities.
We encourage providers to review the following resources to promote vaccination of their healthcare workers:
DPH Flu Vaccine for Everyone! A Guide to Reaching and Engaging Diverse Communities
CDC Strategies for Increasing Adult Vaccination Rates
Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) Activity & Antiviral Treatment of Patients with Influenza
In the United States (U.S.), influenza activity has increased significantly over recent weeks with influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominating so far this season. In the past, A(H3N2) virus-predominant influenza seasons have been associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in persons aged 65 years and older and young children compared to other age groups. In addition, influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) in general has been lower against A(H3N2) viruses than against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 or influenza B viruses. Last season, VE against circulating influenza A(H3N2) viruses was estimated to be 32% in the U.S.