New Study Shows Vaccinated Workers Are An Office Asset For One Big Reason
Vaccines have changed the world. They’ve all but eradicated some diseases and greatly reduced the likelihood of contracting others. Vaccines save lives. A new study has found that they are also likely to save money as well.
A new study published by UT Southwestern Medical Center in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology looked specifically at whether requiring mandatory flu vaccines for healthcare workers reduced the amount of sick leave among that population.
It was a large study that involved eighteen different facilities and spanned three flu seasons. The study also looked at participation rates in flu vaccine programs. The Healthy People collaborative in the U.S. has a goal of 90 percent vaccination rates among healthcare workers by 2020, and the study wanted to see just how realistic this goal was.
Previous studies have already shown that patient care suffers in facilities that have a lower vaccination rate, mostly due to how effectively a facility is able to manage the surge of patients during an outbreak. This study showed that mandatory vaccination policies helped to maintain better staffing levels during those critical surges.
The study also showed an increase in participation level, from roughly 60 percent participation at voluntary sites to over 95 percent at mandatory sites. Vaccinated healthcare workers had a 30 percent reduction in absenteeism versus their unvaccinated colleagues. Overall, those hospitals with a mandatory vaccination program saw a 6 percent lower absentee rate than those with voluntary programs.
This study provides compelling evidence for the benefits of mandatory vaccine programs. Healthcare institutions can struggle to care for large numbers of flu patients when the number of workers is declining due to the same illness.
Mandatory vaccines may have the added benefit of protecting others who are unable to get vaccinated themselves.
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