"Say BOO to the FLU!" Introduction of the Seasonal Influenza Peer Vaccination Programme in the Emergency Department and AMAU.
AffiliationConnolly Hospital Blanchardstown
HEALTHCARE AND HEALTH SERVICES
Local subject classificationHealth Service Executive
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Citation“Say BOO to the FLU!” Introduction of the Seasonal Influenza Peer Vaccination Programme in the Emergency Department and AMAU Donaghy, Lisa et al. Journal of Emergency Nursing , Volume 44 , Issue 4 , 418 - 420
JournalJournal of Emergency Nursing
AbstractThe Seasonal Influenza Peer Vaccination Programme was developed by the Republic of Ireland Health Service Executive (HSE)1 with the aim of increasing the number of health care workers receiving annual flu vaccinations. Supporting these efforts, various studies illustrated that increasing health care staff vaccination rates decreased patient illness and death,2 while other research reported a 40% reduction of influenza-related deaths in hospitals with higher rates of health care workers' influenza vaccinations.3 Flu vaccination recommendations from The WorldHealthOrganization (WHO) include a target uptake of 75% in health care staff and people age 65 and older.3 In accordance with HSE national guidelines that health care organizations achieve and/or surpass the minimum threshold goal of 40% of employees receiving the flu vaccine,4 and recognizing that Peer-to-Peer Influenza Vaccination Programmes are an essential aspect of the overall infection prevention and control arrangements in our health care setting, Connolly Hospital In Dublin, Ireland, initiated the Peer Vaccination Programme in the Emergency Department and Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) during the 2016–2017 flu season. The challenges facing successful ED and AMAU programme implementation included the large volume of interdisciplinary staff serving theED area, a vast cohort of undifferentiated complex patients at risk for increased complications if exposed to influenza, and an elevated risk of exposure to the influenza virus for all members of the health care team. Similar to programs in other countries, the Peer-to-Peer Vaccination Programme vaccinates health care workers against the influenza viruses identified as those most likely to circulate in the upcoming season.5 Although recognizing that frontline staff have a duty of care to protect their patients and colleagues, receiving the flu vaccine is not a mandatory requirement for health care worker employment in Ireland.
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