Introduction Burden of influenza infection among healthcare professionals (HCPs) is high including transmission to high risk and severely-ill patients. This chart review aims is to record laboratory confirmed influenza cases and influenza immunisation coverage among HCPs in Ministry of National Guard hospital, a 500-bed tertiary care hospital, in western Saudi Arabia.
Methods Laboratory confirmed influenza cases among healthcare professionals from June 2014 – June 2017 were reviewed. Influenza immunisation and reasons of declining to receive the vaccine were recorded.
Results During the study period, 78 HCPs had laboratory confirmed influenza (9.1% of all confirmed cases). There were 18 HCPs with H1N1 (8.1%), 43 with influenza A (11.1%) and 17 with influenza B (6.8%). In the meantime, influenza immunisation coverage ranged from 33%–64% among physicians, 80%–93% among nurses and 32%–41% among paramedicals (i.e., medical technicians, pharmacists and administrators). Reasons of declining influenza vaccination included doubt of the need for the vaccine (27.8%), concern of vaccine safety (21.0%), bad experience following vaccination in the previous year (41.5%), insufficient time to attend immunisation clinic (9.6%) and fear of the needle (6.6%).
Conclusion Number of confirmed influenza cases is mostly under-reported. HCPs are at increased risk for influenza infection and efforts should focus on Infection prevention strategies and increasing immunisation coverage among HCPs and patients.