Children's Hospital Media and Press Relations
Department of Pediatrics Newsletter Archive
Faculty Vaccinations; By the Numbers
August 20, 2013

Last flu season, the vaccination rate for attending physicians at VUMC climbed to 88 percent. A 20 percent jump over the prior year. That rate is above the national average, and just below a number of national goals aiming for 90 percent vaccination rates.

The Joint Commission and Healthy People 2020 are targeting a 90 percent by 2020 for all health care personnel. Both sources reference the Revised Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Position Paper: Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel, co-authored by Thomas Talbot, M.D., M.P.H., Vanderbilt’s Chief Hospital Epidemiologist.

Medical Center policy now requires annual influenza vaccination or exemption. Exemptions may be for religious or personal/philosophical beliefs or for medical contraindications. The exemption form will be available on the OHC website beginning in September. Faculty can see current vaccination guidelines on the Vanderbilt Department of Infection control & Prevention website.

“Last year a number of innovations in the flu program increased vaccination rates,” said Melanie Swift, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic. Innovation included:

  • A peer vaccination program enabling faculty and staff to receive flu vaccines from designated nurses on units and clinics across the medical center
  • Personalized email to all physicians who did not receive or report a vaccine
  • Online tool for individuals to report external vaccinations

“This year we are expanding the Peer Vaccination Program to allow more departments," said Swift. “We will also be sending more notices and emails to people who have not received the vaccine.”

November 2012 national flu vaccination rates for health care personnel from an  Internet panel survey by the CDC

  • 63.4 percent of health care personnel reported getting vaccinated
  • Vaccine rates were highest among pharmacists at 88.7 percent
  • Physicians were close behind at 85.3 percent
  • Vaccination rates  for all health care workers were highest in the hospital work setting at 82.5 percent

The Flulapalooza vaccination event will be Wednesday, September 25 in a tent behind Light Hall.  Faculty receiving a vaccine from a peer or outside source can electronically self-report on the Vanderbilt OHC website.

Flulapalooza will provide vaccinations in a tent behind Light Hall on Sept. 25, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt