MDH Flusafe Program

Minnesota Department of Health FluSafe Program

According to a news release on August 21, 2013 participation in the Minnesota Department of Health’s FluSafe program is continuing to grow. The goals of the program encompass vaccinating more health care workers against influenza, particularly those working in nursing homes and hospitals. The importance of being vaccinated is high, for patients can contract influenza from unvaccinated employees and suffer from flu-derived complications.

Since the program began in 2010, vaccination coverage rates have nearly doubled from 27 to 55 percent. Blue ribbon winners reached vaccination rates of 90 percent and greater; red ribbon winners reached rates of 80-89 percent; and white ribbon winners reached rates of 70-79 percent. Within Minnesota, 55 health care facilities were blue ribbon winners; 65 earned red ribbons; and 57 won white ribbons.

With current rates of 66.7 percent of vaccinated health care employees, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services imposed a goal in its Healthy People 2020 objectives of vaccinating 90 percent of workers. The director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Prevention and Control, Kristen Ehresmann, is pleased with the initiatives of the FluSafe program, as well as the increase in vaccination rates over the past three years. However, she believes there is definite room for improvement.

Health care agencies seeking to increase vaccination rates that are also operating under the FluSafe program receive both promotional tools and guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These rates are stored in the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC), Minnesota’s electronic immunization system.

For more information about the FluSafe program and the most recent list of blue, red, and white ribbon vaccination winners, visit mdhflu.com.

Sources:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/index.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

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