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Systematic review
No evidence that vaccinating health care workers prevents flu in elderly residents in long-term care facilities
  1. G A van Essen
  1. Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to G A van Essen
    Paladijnenweg 30, 38133 DJ Amersfoort, The Netherlands; gavessen{at}paladijnenweg.nl

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Rationale

Since health care workers (HCWs) are often in contact with flu patients, they are considered a potential source of transmission. ‘Do not harm’ is the first obligation of every doctor. Avoiding nosocomial infections is an important patient-safety issue. Flu is easily prevented in healthy adults, whereas influenza vaccination is not very effective in frail elderly. Influenza vaccine is safe and cheap, and hence there is a good rationale for HCWs to receive influenza vaccination. Still, in many countries vaccination rates in HCWs are far below the coverage in at-risk patients.1

Doubt about effectiveness and fear of side effects are usually mentioned …

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