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LaVela SL, Legro MW, Weaver FM, Smith B. Staff influenza vaccination: lessons learned. SCI nursing : a publication of the American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses. 2004 Jul 1; 21(3):153-7.
Respiratory complications are the top cause of morbidity and mortality among persons with spinal cord injury/disorders (SCI/D). One method to protect patients with SCI/D from complications is to reduce exposure to influenza through vaccination of health care workers (HCWs). This study examined the extent to which HCWs promoted safe, quality care for patients with SCI/D as related to their beliefs about, and receipt/non-receipt, of influenza vaccination. Surveys were distributed to HCWs at 23 SCI/D centers within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Vaccination rates, reasons for receipt/non-receipt, and possible associations were examined. The response rate was 53% (n = 820). The SCI/D staff influenza vaccination rate was 50%, with the lowest rates among nurses. The most common reason for vaccination was self-protection. The most common reason for not being vaccinated was concern about side effects. Of providers who recommended the vaccine to patients, significantly more (60%) received the vaccine; p = .000.