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The American Nurses Association (ANA) urges all registered nurses (RNs) to get the seasonal influenza vaccination and to advise their patients to get vaccinated.
Flu vaccination coverage rates have steadily increased, particularly over the past five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the 2013-14 and 2014-15 flu seasons, vaccination rates for RNs were 90.5 percent and 89 percent, respectively, an increase from 69.8 percent in 2010-11.
“As the nation’s largest healthcare workforce, nurses must be true advocates, educators and role models of health and wellness,” says ANA president Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “This includes setting the standard for immunization to protect ourselves, our families, our patients and our communities.”
ANA has adopted a new position on immunization that aligns with the CDC’s guidance calling for all people age 6 months and older to get vaccinated every season, with certain exceptions based on a person’s health and other factors. ANA’s position allows for exemptions for medical reasons or religious beliefs.
ANA’s position on immunization for healthcare personnel also aligns with the statements, which states RNs have an ethical responsibility to “model the same health maintenance and health promotion measures that they teach and research,” including immunization.