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8/14/2000

Vaccinating Workers Against Influenza Reduces Deaths at Geriatric Hospitals

Cheryl A. Thompson

Adding to the evidence that employees in long-term-care (LTC) geriatric facilities should be vaccinated against influenza, researchers found a lower rate of patient deaths during the winter at sites where health care workers had agreed to take the shots.

According to the report, 22 percent of patients died at the 10 LTC geriatric hospitals where only 5 percent of the health care workers had received flu shots. At 10 similar hospitals, where about 50 percent of the health care workers agreed to be vaccinated, only 14 percent of patients died. For more information, see the Jan. 8 issue of Lancet for the article "Effects of Influenza Vaccination of Health-Care Workers on Mortality of Elderly People in Long-Term Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial."