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Influenza Prevention Policy

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.   

Goals of the policy 

The BC Influenza Prevention Policy has three goals: 

  1. To increase influenza immunization rates in healthcare workers employed in BC health authorities
  2. To prevent transmission of influenza from healthcare workers to patients/residents/clients and to other healthcare workers in healthcare facilities in BC
  3. To reduce influenza-related absenteeism in healthcare workers employed by health authorities in BC  

Healthcare worker immunization coverage

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

Policy evaluation results

For more information about this policy, please refer to the following PHSA resource:
SOURCE: Influenza Prevention Policy ( )
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