Abstract

Annual vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) against seasonal influenza is recommended by The Australian Immunisation Handbook to prevent personal morbidity and transmission to patients. There are limited data available concerning the uptake of this vaccination by Australian healthcare workers, and few studies have investigated the determinants of this uptake. This report therefore aims to review the seasonal influenza immunisation uptake rates of Australian HCWs, the determinants of these rates, and strategies to improve them. The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PubMed and the Cochrane Library were searched for literature published online between January 2000 and May 2011. A manual search of the grey literature was also undertaken. Studies of influenza pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 immunisation were excluded. Eleven relevant studies were identified. The published data suggests that annual seasonal influenza immunisation rates among Australian HCWs are below recommended levels (range 22%-70%). Factors contributing to the decision to be immunised demonstrate only minor variations from those identified in international samples. There is little high quality evidence to support specific strategies and interventions to increase uptake of immunisation in HCWs. Further high quality research is needed to demonstrate the efficacy of strategies and interventions on HCW immunisation uptake, particularly in Australian samples, and if conventional interventions continue to prove ineffective, policy change to mandatory seasonal influenza immunisation should be considered.
Western Pacific Australia Healthcare workers Coverage Influenza