268907 Workplace vaccination and vaccination promotion strategies among large employers in the United States

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Meredith A. Cook, MS , Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Peggy A. Hannon, PhD, MPH , Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Kristen Hammerback, MA , Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Jeffrey R. Harris, MD MPH MBA , Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Cate Clegg-Thorp, MPH , Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: Adult vaccination rates are low, placing the population at risk for preventable diseases such as influenza and pertussis (whooping cough). Workplaces can help address this problem by offering vaccinations on-site to employees and by actively promoting the vaccinations. However, the proportion of employers that currently offer on-site vaccinations and engage in effective vaccination promotion strategies is uncertain. Methods: We are conducting a national telephone survey of 2,364 large employers (>500 employees) selected at random from a comprehensive list of 31,426 large employers in the United States. We identified knowledgeable potential respondents by job title. Trained interviewers administered a 10-15 minute questionnaire. We will estimate the proportion of employers offering vaccinations and engaging in specific promotion strategies including communication and enhanced access. Results: We have collected 32 responses and anticipate another 575. Early data show that 81.3% of employers offer on-site flu vaccinations and 84.6% of those offer it for free to employees. Use of communication strategies is high among employers offering vaccination, with all using multiple communication strategies and 73.1% using six or more. Comparatively, employers underutilize access-oriented promotion strategies. While 65.4% of employers offering vaccination have employees working only evenings or weekends, only 52.9% of those offer vaccination at those times. Conclusions: While on-site offering of free flu vaccinations is very common among large employers, many utilize only a subset of the promotion strategies known to increase workplace vaccination rates. Increased dissemination of these strategies among employers could help to address the problem of low adult vaccination rates.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Explain what employers are currently doing to increase vaccination rates among their employees. Name the low-effort but effective strategies for increasing vaccination rates employers underutilize.

Keywords: Immunizations, Worksite

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have completed the majority of my coursework in the University of Washington Health Services PhD program, including training in statistics and health promotion. I have been actively involved in research at the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center for 2.5 years. This research serves as my dissertation.
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.