In 2012, BC became the first province in Canada to implement a province-wide condition-of-service influenza prevention policy.
BC’s Influenza Prevention Policy requires all healthcare workers to either be vaccinated against influenza or wear a mask in patient care areas throughout the influenza season. The policy also applies to visitors, volunteers and students who attend a patient care area.
The BC Influenza Prevention Policy has three goals:
- To increase influenza immunization rates in healthcare workers employed in BC health authorities
- To prevent transmission of influenza from healthcare workers to patients/residents/clients and to other healthcare workers in healthcare facilities in BC
- To reduce influenza-related absenteeism in healthcare workers employed by health authorities in BC
In the decade prior to the policy, influenza immunization rates among healthcare workers ranged from 40-46% in acute care facilities, and 56-68% in long-term care facilities, both well below the former target of 80%. Following introduction of the policy, the immunization rate rose in 2013/14 to an average of 75% for healthcare workers in acute care (i.e., hospitals), and 79% for healthcare workers in long term care facilities.
See 'Coverage Reports' tab - 'Influenza coverage for BC health care facilities'
For more information about this policy, please refer to the following PHSA resource: