State health regulators will start cracking down on acute care hospitals that have large numbers of workers who do not receive a flu shot, but are stopping short of mandating the vaccine, according to plans unveiled Wednesday.
At roughly one-third of Massachusetts’ acute care hospitals, fewer than 80 percent of health care personnel received a flu shot this past flu season, new data from the state Department of Public Health show.
The statewide median among the hospitals was 86 percent, which is below the 90 percent goal regulators have long sought.
Hospital vaccination rates did not improve from past years, despite repeated urging from the health department, and broad variations among individual hospitals persist. Vaccinated workers are less likely to fall ill and spread the illness to patients.
“The department is sending letters to . . . hospitals that have not yet tightened up their belts,” said Madeleine Biondolillo, the department’s associate commissioner.
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