Flu shots don't hurt turnover, study says

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Requiring flu shots is not a primary reason for employees quitting, an analysis finds.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all healthcare employees receive the annual flu vaccine, facilities vary on whether to make it mandatory.

To see the effects of a vaccine requirement, Loyola University Medical Center in 2009 began an analysis after making flu shots required for employees, students, volunteers and contractors. 

In year one, 99.2% of employees received the vaccine, with 0.7% being exempt for religious or medical reasons, and 0.1% choosing to leave rather than get the shot. By 2012, while the rate of exemptions rose to 1.2%, only 0.6% refused vaccination and left. Plus, of the five people who refused to be vaccinated, three were unpaid volunteers and two were part-time staff, explained Jorge Parada, M.D., M.P.H., the study's author and professor of medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Fewer than 15 people out of 8,000 chose termination over vaccination, he said. Results were presented at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Conference in June. 


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