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Open Access Research article

Vaccination coverage for seasonal influenza among residents and health care workers in Norwegian nursing homes during the 2012/13 season, a cross-sectional study

Horst Bentele13*, Marianne R Bergsaker2, Siri Helene Hauge1 and Jørgen V Bjørnholt1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Infection Control Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

2 Department of Vaccines, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

3 European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stockholm, Sweden

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:434  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-434

Published: 9 May 2014

Abstract

Background

WHO has set a goal of 75% vaccination coverage (VC) for seasonal influenza for residents and also recommends immunization for all healthcare workers (HCWs) in nursing homes (NHs). We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the VC for seasonal influenza vaccination in Norwegian NHs in 2012/2013 since the VC in NHs and HCWs is unknown.

Methods

We gathered information from NHs concerning VC for residents and HCWs, and vaccination costs for HCWs, using a web-based questionnaire. We calculated VC among NH residents by dividing the number of residents vaccinated by the total number of residents for each NH. VC among HCWs was similarly calculated by dividing the number of HCWs vaccinated by the total number of HCWs for each NH. The association between VC and possible demographic variables were explored.

Results

Of 910 NHs, 354 (38.9%) responded. Median VC per NH was 71.7% (range 0-100) among residents and 0% (range 0-100) among HCWs, with 214 (60%) NHs reporting that none of their HCWs was vaccinated. Median VC for HCWs in NHs with an annual vaccination campaign was 0% (range 0-53), compared to when they did not have an annual vaccination campaign 0% (range 0-12); the distributions in the two groups differed significantly (Mann–Whitney U, P = 0.006 two tailed).

Conclusion

Median influenza VC in Norwegian NHs was marginally lower than recommended among residents and exceptionally low among HCWs. The VC in HCWs was significantly higher when NHs had an annual vaccination campaign. We recommend that NHs implement measures to increase VC among residents and HCWs, including vaccination campaigns and studies to identify potential barriers to vaccination.