Jun 2007 Table of Contents

LETTERS

Optimizing vaccine administration



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Fam Pract Manag. 2007 Jun;14(6):13.

I would like to commend Dr. Barry L. Hainer on his article “Vaccine Administration: Making the Process More Efficient in Your Practice” [March 2007]. I agree with Dr. Hainer's excellent recommendations for improving the immunization process in doctors' offices; however, the article did not mention the importance of vaccinations for a practice's staff members.

I recently read that only 40 percent of U.S. health care workers are vaccinated against influenza each year.1 A successful vaccine administration program should educate staff members on the benefits of vaccines. Staff members should know that vaccinations not only protect them from disease but also significantly reduce their risk of transmitting infectious agents such as the influenza virus to patients, other staff members, family members and the general public. Furthermore, vaccinated staff members are uniquely qualified to encourage patients to receive immunizations because they can explain the benefits firsthand.

I would like to suggest an excellent vaccine resource. Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 18th edition, published by the American Public Health Association, provides health care professionals val uable information on infectious diseases and includes descriptions of vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccine availability and immunization schedules. The manual is compact and easy to use as a reference guide. It also contains sections about reporting communicable diseases and the proper response to bioterrorism and biological warfare.

1. Health workers target of new guidelines on influenza shots: most workers fail to get annual flu shots. The Nation's Health. April 2006:1,20.

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