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Ongoing ‘low’ vaccine uptake by healthcare workers

By David Lynch - 17th Mar 2024

vaccine uptake

The “continuing low uptake” of Covid-19 and influenza vaccination by healthcare workers (HCWs) has again been raised at internal HSE meetings.

In December, Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer (CCO), provided an update on vaccine uptake by HCWs to the HSE safety and quality committee.

According to meeting minutes, committee members expressed concerns about the low uptake, noting that it was an ongoing issue.

Dr Henry told the meeting that, at the time, HCW uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine was at 16.2 per cent; and 33.1 per cent for the influenza vaccine.

The issue was also discussed at the committee’s meeting in November, when members expressed “concern in relation to the overall uptake of winter vaccines” by HCWs.

According to the meeting minutes, the CCO said there were initiatives underway “in relation to an urgent call to action from each area to take ownership and improve the vaccine uptake rates in their staff”.

Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) figures, from September 2023 until 5 February 2024, show a total of 20,447 HCWs received a Covid-19 vaccine, which is an uptake of 18.6 per cent.

The figures also revealed that 40,850 HCWs received the influenza vaccine, an uptake of 37.1 per cent.

In November, the Medical Independent reported there was a “marked reduction” in influenza vaccine uptake by HCWs in 2022-2023 compared with the previous season, according to a HPSC report.

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