Toolkit for Health Care Professional Influenza Vaccination

How to use this tool kit

This tool kit contains information and resources for educating and administering the influenza vaccination to health care professionals and staff. Physicians and their office staff are encouraged to use this kit to create awareness of the benefits of annual influenza vaccination of HCPs and implement a patient-safety quality program in their office by offering the influenza vaccination.

The Illinois State Medical Society Subcommittee on Physician Health and Wellness is committed to promoting the overall health and wellbeing of physicians and encouraging physicians to exemplify a healthy lifestyle for their patients.

ISMS believes healthy doctors equal healthy patients. In fact, research on physician health reveals that physicians who practice preventive care are more likely to counsel their patients on preventive care.1 In addition, patients tend to find physicians who disclose their own healthy habits to be more motivating and believable.2  

ISMS is working to partner with physicians, to not only help increase their own healthy habits, but also that of their patients. This toolkit was developed by the Illinois State Medical Society to encourage physicians, other health care professionals (HCPs) and staff to receive the influenza vaccine annually. Unvaccinated HCPs can spread the influenza virus to patients, leading to outbreaks in healthcare facilities—which can have deadly consequences. Physicians who receive their influenza vaccination protect their patients in two ways: First, they are more likely to counsel patients on this preventive behavior, and second, they are less likely to infect their patients with influenza. ISMS hopes physicians and their staff will "bee first in line" for their flu shot, and encourage their patients to do the same.

Influenza vaccination rates of health care professionals (HCPs) are surprisingly low-only about 40%.3 Low vaccination of HCPs has been associated with influenza outbreaks in health care facilities. Often, employees may be clinically or sub-clinically infected and transmit the virus to patients. This can be particularly harmful for those more at risk for complications such as children, older adults, the immunocompromised, pregnant women and neonates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual influenza vaccination for all HCPs, including physicians, nurses and all workers who have contact with patients. To optimize vaccination among HCPs, employers should:

  • Offer the influenza vaccine to all employees annually.

  • Educate employees on the patient safety issues of unvaccinated workers.

  • Make the vaccine available free of charge.

  • Require signature on a refusal form if employees decline vaccination.

  • Monitor HCP influenza vaccination coverage each year and use it as a measure of a patient safety quality program.  

Another important vaccination for healthcare personnel: Tdap

The prevalence of pertussis has steadily increased in the last 20 years. Adult vaccination against pertussis is important. Follow the most current recommendations of the ACIP in the administration of Tdap vaccine.

For some organizations, influenza vaccination is required. Effective Jan. 1, 2007, the Joint Commission issued a standard that accredited organizations must offer influenza vaccination to staff and licensed independent practitioners. Yet despite these strong recommendations, unvaccinated workers continue to be a risk to patients.

Influenza vaccination is not only important to patient safety, it is beneficial to staff and employers. Influenza vaccination of HCPs is associated with fewer health care visits, fewer lost workdays, fewer days working with reduced effectiveness and decrease in antibiotic use.4


  1. First Do No Harm
    Gives a summary on why it is important for health care providers to receive recommended vaccinations.

  2. Health Care Personnel Vaccination Recommendations
    Lists recommended vaccinations for HCPs including: hepatitis B, influenza, MMR, varicella, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap), and meningococcal

  3. Standing Orders for Administering Influenza Vaccine to Adults
    Under standing orders, eligible health care professionals may vaccinate patients who meet listed criteria.

  4. Screening Questionnaire for Intranasal Influenza Vaccination
    Use this questionnaire to determine if intranasal influenza vaccination is appropriate.

  5. Screening Questionnaire for Injectable Influenza Vaccination
    Use this questionnaire to determine if injectable influenza vaccination is appropriate.

  6. Live, Intranasal Influenza Vaccine Information Statement

    Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Information Statement  
  7. Declination of Influenza Vaccination
    It is recommended that health care professionals who refuse influenza vaccination sign this form.

  8. Is it a Cold or the Flu?
    Helpful resource in determining if symptoms are that of a cold or flu.

  9. Cover Your Cough
    A sign to post in your health care facility to remind patients to cover their cough.

  10. CDC's National Center for Immunization & Respiratory Disease's Influenza Vaccination Coverage Amongst Health Care Professionals 2015-16

The materials included in this tool kit are made available by the Immunization Action Coalition, 1573 Selby Avenue St. Paul MN 55104, the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

1 Frank E, Rothenberg R, Lewis C. Belodoff BF. Correlates of physicians’ prevention-related practices. Arch Fam Med. 2000; 9:359-367.

2 Frank E. Physician disclosure of healthy personal behaviors improves credibility and ability to motivate. Arch Fam Med 2000; 9(3):287-90.

3 Harper SA, Fukuda K, Uyeki TM, Cox N, Bridges CA,.MMWR Prevention and Control of Influenza. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. July 29, 2005 54 (RR08); 1-40.

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza vaccination of health-care personnel: recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 2006:55 (No.RR-2):[1-12]. 

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