Flu-shot rates rise among hospital workers, but still below state goal

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More Massachusetts hospital workers are getting flu shots, but new data show that the numbers remain below the goal set by state regulators, who say the lack of vaccinations exposes patients to a heightened risk of infection.

Roughly 85 percent of workers at the state’s acute care hospitals received flu shots during the most recent season, up from 81 percent a year earlier. The goal of the state Department of Public Health is a minimum of 90 percent.

As employers launch their fall flu shot campaigns, health officials are urging hospitals to become more aggressive, while crossing their fingers that this season’s flu strains will not be as virulent as last year’s. Influenza slammed Massachusetts unusually early and with uncharacteristic force last year, sickening thousands by mid-December, a full month earlier than normal.

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