Clinical concerns

LTC worker flu vaccination rates remain low

Long-term care workers continued to have low rates of flu vaccination last season, despite there being 92% vaccination coverage overall among physicians and nurses, according to the CDC’s FluVaxView website.

Coverage for nurses overall increased by 5%, from 2013-2014 to 90.5%, and pharmacists were around 86%. Long-term care professionals had a 63% rate, which is the same as last year.

The CDC also published new guidelines for seniors Thursday that recommend adding the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Pneumococcal bacteria causes a severe type of pneumonia, as well as potentially meningitis, blood poisoning and other infections. Those over age 65 should first receive one dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and then one dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, ideally six to 12 months later.