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Flu Vaccination Rates for Nursing Home Staff Too Low

Many nursing home workers have mistaken beliefs about the flu and vaccination

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Only about one in two U.S. nursing home workers receive an annual flu vaccination, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta and the Florida Health Care Association in Tallahassee surveyed 1,965 employees at 37 nursing homes in Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin. They found that only 54 percent of employees had received a flu vaccination during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 flu seasons.

The study authors also found that many nursing home workers have mistaken beliefs about the flu and vaccination. Nearly 40 percent incorrectly thought that the vaccine could cause the flu. Workers who knew that wasn't true were 12 percent more likely to get vaccinated. And, those who believed that vaccination was effective were 28 percent more likely to get vaccinated.

"Vaccination rates would be higher if staff held accurate beliefs about vaccination and influenza," the authors write.

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