189795 Preventing the Spread of Seasonal Flu: Measuring the Impact of a Voluntary Program on Influenza Immunization Coverage among Long Term Care Facility Residents and Employees

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jessica A. Nadeau , Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, SUNY, University at Albany, School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Over 200,000 individuals are hospitalized for influenza annually, a disproportionate number are over 65 and more likely to reside in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). On April 1, 2000, New York State enacted the Long-Term Care Resident and Employee Immunization Act for LTCFs. This law requires LTCFs to provide optional influenza vaccines to all residents and employees and report coverage to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Without a mandate for immunization of healthcare workers and residents, there is a need to monitor trends in vaccination coverage rates and to determine whether the current law is sufficient to improve immunization coverage.

Annual immunization report data from 2000-2007 was analyzed to identify trends in immunization coverage for employees and residents of NYS LTCFs. Site visits were made to LTCFs to provide educational resources on adult immunizations and methods for immunization coverage and reporting improvement.

The mean influenza vaccination coverage for residents reported in NYS LTCFs during 2000-2007 was 84.0% (Range: 82 - 86%). Immunization levels for employees fall far below that of residents at only 36% (Range: 32 - 42%). Despite efforts to improve immunization coverage, there have been no major increases in immunization levels since 2000.

Continued low influenza immunization coverage of LTCF employees is evidence that optional immunization programs have not been effective and that residents are continually put at risk. The results of this analysis will contribute objective data to assess the need for an influenza vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in LTCFs and other settings.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant should be able to understand factors affecting Influenza Vaccination among both residents and employees of Long Term Care Facilities in New York State from 2000 to 2007. Including trends associated with facility size and geographic region.

Keywords: Long-Term Care, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Student member of Delta Omega
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.