1 Running Head: POLICY, POLITICS, AND GLOBAL HEALTH TRENDS Policy, Politics, and Global Health Trends Jennifer Foscolos Western Governors University
2 C159 POLICY, POLITICS, AND GLOBAL HEALTH C159 Policy, Politics, and Global Health Public Policy Issue According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), from September 30, 2018 to May 18, 2019, there were 42,303 (52.2%) specimens positive for influenza viruses out of the 80,993 public health laboratory specimens collected (Xu et al, (2019). According to the CDC vaccine effectiveness studies, the flu vaccination is 40% to 60% effective in reducing the risk of flu illness (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). As nurses, we took a vow to protect and advocate for our patients. By mandating the flu vaccination for Sarasota County healthcare employees, we can certify that we are helping to prevent the spread of the virus to our patients. Issue Selection As the beginning of flu season approaches, the discussion for staff to receive their flu vaccination starts. Currently staff are encouraged to either receive their vaccination or encouraged to maintain a mask throughout their work shifts. Many staff groan about the vaccination and make comments that they only seem to get sick after getting their vaccine. As stated previously, the CDC vaccine effectiveness studies show that the flu vaccination is 40% to 60% effective in reducing the risk of flu illness. The CDC also states that during the 2016-2017 flu season, the flu vaccination was able to prevent 85,000 hospitalizations related to influenza and prevented an estimated 5.3 million cases of influenza (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018-a). These statistics clearly establish a benefit for people to receive a flu vaccination; the vaccine decreases morbidity, mortality and all costs associated with getting influenza. With the current statistics, Sarasota County healthcare workers should adopt a mandated staff flu vaccination policy. This policy will not only protect the staff but will also
3 C159 POLICY, POLITICS, AND GLOBAL HEALTH benefit the patient population. Staff will be less likely to miss work due to influenza illness and will be less likely to transmit the disease to others, including their patients. Issue Relevance Influenza and influenza related illnesses affect a multitude of people every year. During “flu season,” individuals suffering from flu related complications are seeking relief from doctor’s offices, clinics, and hospitals. Influenza is a virus that is transmitted from person to person through aerosolized droplets; people commonly develop extreme fatigue, cough, chills, sudden fevers, and occasional gastrointestinal symptoms of diarrhea and/or vomiting (Galloway, 2015). According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (2019), health care providers are frequently responsible for the spread of influenza within their healthcare setting. As a result, vulnerable patients are at an increased risk of not only contracting influenza but are then at severe risk of influenza-related complications and mortality.
- Fall '18