While the VA significantly lags behind other healthcare systems in mandating influenza vaccinations for healthcare workers, according to recent research, it is moving closer to the national average because of a directive issued last fall.
Predictions that the influenza vaccine would be largely ineffective in the U.S. based on results seen in Australia the previous summer troubled many federal infectious disease specialists going into last year’s flu season.
Zika virus infection had affected more than a half-million people in the Western Hemisphere by the end of 2016. Among those were more than 700 VA patients with confirmed or presumed possible infection.
The VA’s success in reducing unnecessary antibiotic use in its hospitals has not trickled down to its outpatient clinics.
The VA is leveraging its position as the country’s largest integrated healthcare system to slow the development and spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO).
New research is raising questions about whether the VA is doing enough to promote influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel.