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However, this is far short of the HSE’s published target for healthcare workers of 40 per cent uptake. Minister for Health Simon Harris has recently suggested possible mandatory uptake of the flu vaccine for healthcare workers.
According to data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), 45 out of 61 (73.7 per cent) known hospitals (including 12 private) provided information for its recent mid-season survey. Average uptake among healthcare workers in these hospitals was 28.3 per cent (range 3.5 per cent-58.3 per cent). This compared to an average uptake of 22.5 per cent for the whole of the 2015/2016 season.
The category of workers described as ‘medical and dental’ had an uptake of 50.8 per cent for the 2016/2017 season, which was the highest of any category and compared to 38.2 per cent for the previous season. Nursing had the lowest uptake at 23.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) the average uptake among healthcare workers was 27.3 per cent (range 0 per cent-75 per cent).