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Association of State Laws With Influenza Vaccination of Hospital Personnel

      Introduction

      Healthcare personnel influenza vaccination can reduce influenza illness and patient mortality. State laws are one tool promoting healthcare personnel influenza vaccination.

      Methods

      A 2016 legal assessment in 50 states and Washington DC identified (1) assessment laws: mandating hospitals assess healthcare personnel influenza vaccination status; (2) offer laws: mandating hospitals offer influenza vaccination to healthcare personnel; (3) ensure laws: mandating hospitals require healthcare personnel to demonstrate proof of influenza vaccination; and (4) surgical masking laws: mandating unvaccinated healthcare personnel to wear surgical masks during influenza season. Influenza vaccination was calculated using data reported in 2016 by short-stay acute care hospitals (n=4,370) to the National Healthcare Safety Network. Hierarchical linear modeling in 2018 examined associations between reported vaccination and assessment, offer, or ensure laws at the level of facilities nested within states, among employee and non-employee healthcare personnel and among employees only.

      Results

      Eighteen states had one or more healthcare personnel influenza vaccination-related laws. In the absence of any state laws, facility vaccination mandates were associated with an 11–12 percentage point increase in mean vaccination coverage (p<0.0001). Facility-level mandates were estimated to increase mean influenza vaccination coverage among all healthcare personnel by 4.2 percentage points in states with assessment laws, 6.6 percentage points in states with offer laws, and 3.1 percentage points in states with ensure laws. Results were similar in analyses restricted only to employees although percentage point increases were slightly larger.

      Conclusions

      State laws moderate the effect of facility-level vaccination mandates and may help increase healthcare personnel influenza vaccination coverage in facilities with or without vaccination requirements.
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