Influenza vaccination of health care workers in long-term-care hospitals reduces the mortality of elderly patients

J Infect Dis. 1997 Jan;175(1):1-6. doi: 10.1093/infdis/175.1.1.


Vaccination of health care workers (HCWs) is recommended as a strategy for preventing influenza in elderly patients in long-term care. However, there have been no controlled studies to show whether this approach is effective. During the winter of 1994-1995, 1059 patients in 12 geriatric medical long-term-care sites, randomized for vaccination of HCWs, were studied. In hospitals where HCWs were offered vaccination, 653 (61%) of 1078 were vaccinated. Vaccination of HCWs was associated with reductions in total patient mortality from 17% to 10% (odds ratio [OR], 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40-0.80) and in influenza-like illness (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.34-0.94). Vaccination of patients was not associated with significant effects on mortality (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.81-1.64). Results of this study support recommendations for vaccination against influenza of HCWs in long-term geriatric care. Vaccination of frail elderly long-term-care patients may not give clinically worthwhile benefits.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Personnel*
  • Hospitals, Chronic Disease*
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Influenza, Human / mortality
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Scotland
  • Vaccination*


  • Influenza Vaccines