No evidence for benefits of influenza vaccine in institutional healthcare workers

Clinical question: 
How effective is influenza vaccination of healthcare workers on the incidence of laboratory-proven influenza, pneumonia, death from pneumonia and admission to hospital for respiratory illness in those aged 60 years or older resident in long-term care institutions (LTCIs)?
Bottom line: 
There was no effect of vaccination on laboratory-proven influenza, respiratory tract infections, admissions to hospital for respiratory illness or deaths due to respiratory illness. This review did not find information on co-interventions with healthcare worker vaccination: hand-washing, face masks, early detection of laboratory-proven influenza, quarantine, avoiding new admissions, prompt use of antivirals, restricting visitors and asking healthcare workers with influenza or influenza-like illness not to work.
Caveat: 
The principal sources of bias in the studies related to attrition and blinding. The studies did not report on adverse events.
Context: 
Older individuals in LTCIs at risk of influenza may be infected by their healthcare workers. There are no accurate data on rates of laboratory-proven influenza in healthcare workers. Vaccinating healthcare workers against influenza may reduce infections acquired from this source.
Review CD#: 
CD005187
PEARLS No: 
425
Date: 
March, 2014
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy