As a new flu season approaches, reports from the 2015-16 influenza season show a slight rise in the vaccination rate of Massachusetts health care workers. But more than two-fifths of acute-care hospitals — and an even greater share of other health facilities — failed to reach the 90 percent vaccination level recommended by state and federal health authorities.
The numbers, collected by the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH), show that an average of 90.9 percent of employees at acute-care hospitals had a flu shot during the 2015-2016 season, compared to 90 percent the season before.
That gain was due mainly to a handful of hospitals with very high scores (see box below: “Ten ways to boost health care worker flu vaccinations”). The number of hospitals that fell short of the 90 percent target actually went up last season, from 22 to 30 out of the 69 acute-care hospitals for which data were available during both years. And employee vaccination levels at other kinds of facilities around the state were lower than those at hospitals; long-term care centers, for example, had an average rate of 73 percent.