An estimated 92 percent of hospital workers report receiving a flu vaccine for the 2017-18 flu season, compared with 75 percent of ambulatory care workers and 67 percent of long-term care workers, according to a survey released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coverage was 97 percent among workers in hospitals requiring vaccination. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual flu vaccination for all health care personnel to reduce flu-related illness and mortality. To protect the lives and welfare of patients and hospital employees, the AHA supports mandatory patient safety policies that require either flu vaccination or wearing a mask in the presence of patients across health care settings during flu season. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., today marked the official start of the 2018-2019 flu season by getting their flu shot. While last year’s vaccine was less protective than in previous years, Gottlieb said, “We’ve worked closely with our colleagues at the CDC and other agencies to ensure that as many of the potential issues with last year’s vaccine as possible were addressed this year.”

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