This study aims to investigate the association between influenza vaccination of health care workers (HCWs) and sickness absenteeism. A retrospective cohort study was conducted in an emergency department (ED) of an acute care hospital. All full-time HCWs except physicians (73 nurses and health care attendants) were included. Influenza vaccine was administered to HCWs on a voluntary basis commencing November 2004. Absenteeism due to influenza-like illness during the period from January to October 2005 was noted. The mean number of cumulative sick leave days per person was smaller (1.0 days against 1.75 days) in vaccine recipients than in vaccine nonrecipients although the difference was not statistically significant. A significantly larger proportion of subjects took sick leave because of influenza-like illness in the vaccine nonrecipient group (55% against 30.3%, P = .034).
Conclusion: Influenza vaccination of HCWs in the ED setting is significantly associated with a fewer number of HCWs requiring sick leave.