CDC urges facilities to vaccinate workers

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is strongly recommending influenza vaccination for healthcare workers.

This week the agency issued recommendations calling for facilities to offer influenza vaccine every year to all eligible personnel. It also recommends workplaces offer vaccination on-site, during all shifts and at no cost to employees. Facilities should obtain a signed form from staff who decline vaccination for reasons that are not medical, the agency adds.

Healthcare workers pose serious health risks to residents and patients when they don't get vaccinated, the CDC said. Each year less than 40% of healthcare workers receive the vaccine.

Workers don't get vaccinated for a variety of reasons, including lack of awareness of the recommendation for annual immunization, lack of vaccine access, vaccine cost and the misperception that the flu is not a serious disease, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.