J Korean Med Sci.  2020 Mar;35(12):e76. 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e76.

A Nationwide Survey on the Hospital Vaccination Policies in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. mslee7@gmail.com
  • 3Infection Control Office, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Healthcare personnel (HCP) are at risk of being exposed to or transmitting infections in hospitals, and vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) is a well-known preventive strategy. Vaccination against influenza, hepatitis B virus, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella, and pertussis is recommended for HCP. However, there is no information on the current status of hospitals' vaccination policies for HCP in Korea.
METHODS
We conducted a nationwide survey on hospital vaccination policies and barriers to implementing recommended vaccination programs in 2018. The online survey questionnaire was distributed to 652 hospitals, and 200 of them responded.
RESULTS
Of the 200 surveyed hospitals, 151 (75.5%) conducted a pre-employment screening program for at least one VPD, and 196 (98%) had vaccination programs that included at least one vaccine. Influenza vaccine was most commonly included in their programs (97.5%, n = 195), followed by hepatitis B vaccines (69%, n = 138). However, < 25% of the hospitals included other vaccines in their policies (measles-mumps-rubella, 24.5%; varicella, 18.5%; pertussis, 11%). Only 13 hospitals (6.5%) included the five recommended vaccines for HCP in their policies. Influenza vaccination coverage had a mean of 89.9% and was significantly higher in hospitals fully funding the vaccination cost (91.8% vs. 80.4%, P < 0.001). Among hospitals funding influenza vaccines, the coverage was lower in hospitals with ≥ 700 beds (−6.5%, P = 0.003). Hospitals' financial burden was the most important barrier to implementing vaccination polices as recommended (78.6%, 121/154), followed by lack of awareness (21%) or campaign (21%) and lack of leadership (17%).
CONCLUSION
Despite the recommendations on vaccination for HCP, the vaccination policies for HCP differ in hospitals and appear to be insufficient to protect HCP and prevent nosocomial transmission. Strong leadership of each hospital to protect HCP and financial support from the government are required to implement appropriate vaccination policies in hospitals.

Keyword

Vaccine; Healthcare Personnel; Policy

MeSH Terms

Chickenpox
Delivery of Health Care
Financial Management
Financial Support
Hepatitis B Vaccines
Hepatitis B virus
Influenza Vaccines
Influenza, Human
Korea*
Leadership
Mass Screening
Vaccination*
Vaccines
Whooping Cough
Hepatitis B Vaccines
Influenza Vaccines
Vaccines
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