NEW ORLEANS – In evaluating outcomes following implementation of the New York State Public Health law instituted in July 2013 where all healthcare workers were mandated to either receive the influenza vaccination or wear a surgical mask, vaccination rates were found to have increased and the occurrence of influenza-like illness (ILI) or acute respiratory infection (ARI) was found to have decreased, according to a study presented at IDWeek 2016.
Lisa Saiman, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center and hospital epidemiologist at the New York-Presbyterian (NYP) Hospital in New York City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of approximately 23,000 healthcare workers at NYP Hospital for 3 influenza seasons: 2012-2013 (pre-mandate), 2013-2014, and 2014-2015 (post-mandate). Workforce Health & Safety protocols were used for managing and testing ILI/ARI during the entire study period.
Overall influenza vaccination rates were 86%, 92%, and 92% in 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015, respectively. Vaccination rates increased over the 3 seasons (P <.05). The incidence of influenza among vaccinated healthcare workers (47%, 351/747) was lower than that in unvaccinated healthcare workers (52%, 134/256), but this finding was not statistically significant (P = .14).
“Over the 3 seasons, the number of ILI/ARI episodes evaluated by Workforce Health & Safety decreased, the proportion of ILI/ARI episodes tested varied (P <.05), and the proportion of ILI/ARI in vaccinated healthcare workers increased (P <.05),” Dr Saiman and colleagues noted.
The most common non-influenza virus found in healthcare workers across the 3 influenza seasons was coronavirus, followed by rhinovirus/enterovirus.
“These findings suggest a beneficial impact of the NYS mandate and should be evaluated across more seasons and in other centers,” the researchers concluded.
Disclosures: Dr Stockwell reports receiving grants from Pfizer Medical Education Group.
Learn more about Dr Saiman’s presentation by watching the video below.
Saiman L, Batabyal R, Zhou JJ, et al. Impact of New York State (NYS) influenza mandate for healthcare workers (HCWs) on influenza-like illness (ILI)/ acute respiratory illness (ARI) and confirmed influenza. Presented at: IDWeek 2016. New Orleans, LA; October 26-30, 2016. Abstract 1743.