“The 2011–2012 Flu Season Is Upon Us” (Emerging Infections, December 2011) provides great information on the different types of flu vaccine, lab tests, and treatments to be used in clinical practice. However, the author didn't stress the importance of medical staff obtaining the influenza vaccine unless contraindicated or against religious beliefs.
The Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2020 initiative aims to have 90% of health care workers vaccinated against influenza.1 Yet Pearson and colleagues report that less than 50% of health care workers receive influenza vaccines annually.2
Perhaps our professional organizations and their journals could emphasize the importance of health care workers receiving these vaccinations in order to protect other staff and our patients.
Amanda Schweng, BSN, RN
2. Pearson ML, et al. Influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel: recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) MMWR Recomm Rep. 2006;55(RR-2):1–16