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Flu vaccinations for health workers prevent outbreaks, study finds

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 3, 2011

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When more than half of physicians and other health professionals working in a nursing home are immunized against influenza, the odds of a flu outbreak in the facility drop 87%, said a study in the October Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (link).

The examination of 75 New Mexico nursing homes from 2006 to 2008 found that those with health worker vaccination rates between 51% and 75% were nearly 90% less likely to see an outbreak of influenza among patients. About 64% of health professionals received flu shots during the 2010-11 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The immunization rate was 84% among physicians and dentists, who were grouped together in the CDC's statistics.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/10/03/prbf1003.htm.

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