No Flu for You
David Edwards, MD, Chief Medical Officer
Banner Health is moving towards a more aggressive plan for influenza vaccination. There will be a mandatory education for all Banner employees so they understand the risks and benefits of influenza immunization. Banner Ironwood in fact is requiring all employees, volunteers, vendors, medical and allied health staffs to get vaccinated. The policy does indicate an opportunity to be exempted from the vaccination if there is a supported medical contraindication or if there is a religious reason. If exempted, the provider will be required to wear a mask while in patient care areas.
With the change in types of patients who will be coming onto the Gateway campus, it is important for us to all get vaccinated and to support this important work. We will be providing influenza immunizations to all Medical Staff. Please look at the schedule online or in the physician lounge.
Whether in a formal role or informally, all physicians are leaders and people who our staff look up to. Here are some of the facts we are sharing with our staff:
Influenza vaccine is supported by the following groups:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (All persons 6 months of age and older and all healthcare workers)
- Infectious Disease Society of America
- American College of Physicians
- National Patient Safety Foundation
- American Hospital Association
The flu vaccine protects you against the three most common types of flu each year. The vaccine is 70-90% effective at preventing the flu. The flu vaccine is not a live virus vaccine and cannot cause the flu. The most common side effect from the vaccine is slight soreness at the injection site. You are at increased risk of getting the flu because you work in a hospital, even if you are not a direct care provider. Because you are healthy, if you get the flu, you may have mild symptoms, but you can still infect your patients, your co-workers and your family members. You can infect someone with flu at least one full day before you have any symptoms of being sick.
Flu vaccine is very safe.
Flu vaccine is provided FREE to all Banner Health employees, practitioners, and volunteers.
Regarding egg allergies, the new recommendations are:
- Mild egg allergy - Can receive the flu shot
- Severe egg allergy (breathing problems) - Cannot receive the flu shot without consultation with an allergy/immunology physician
Thank you in anticipation of your own flu vaccination and support of this important work to protect our patients, our staff, our physicians and our families.