More Than a Quarter of St. Louis EMTs Don’t Get Flu Vaccines, SLU Study Finds

Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., (left) and Kate Wright, Ed.D, MPH are  co-investigators on this study.

Riya V. Anandwala
St. Louis University

ST. LOUIS – Patients are regularly advised by health care professionals to get timely flu shots, but how often do health workers follow what they advocate? A Saint Louis University study reveals that more than 25 percent of St. Louis area Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) do not get vaccinated against the flu.

Published in the American Journal of Infection Control, the study indicates that the seasonal influenza vaccine compliance for St. Louis EMTs still remains far below the 90 percent target outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 program.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all health care personnel, including EMTs, receive the seasonal influenza vaccine every year,” said Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., associate professor at the Institute for Biosecurity at SLU and co-investigator of the study. “There is a lot of evidence that indicates that vaccinating health care professionals protects workers and patients from influenza-related morbidity and mortality, and reduces sick leave.”

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