Reaffirming the Seasonal and H1N1 Influenza Vaccination Requirement

 

TO:

Health care faculty and staff, students in clinical settings and child care employees

FROM:

Don Frey, M. D., Vice President for Health Sciences
Tanya Winegard, Crisis Response Planning Committee Chair

SUBJECT:   

Reaffirming the Seasonal and H1N1 Influenza Vaccination Requirement

DATE:

October 6, 2009

As announced in September, given the overwhelming evidence that influenza vaccination is the most effective method for preventing transmission of the influenza virus and its potentially severe complications, the following required action for the University has been instituted.

All University health care and child care employees and students placed in clinical health care settings are required to be vaccinated for seasonal and H1N1 influenza at University cost by December 1, 2009.

Nationally, other academic medical centers and clinical health care settings are also following this best practice to ensure the safety and health of the community.

To clarify, the University is defining health care faculty, staff and students as individuals who either have direct contact with patients or whose activities are such that if they were infected with influenza, they could potentially expose patients or others who have direct contact with patients.

If, as it now appears, H1N1 vaccine will become available in small quantities over a period of time, the Crisis Committee will seek to prioritize the H1N1 vaccine initially to those who work with patients who would be at greatest risk for adverse outcomes following infection from H1N1 (i.e., pregnant women).

The legal aspects of this action have been reviewed by counsel, and the University policy as previously stated will be enforced. The only two reasons that health care and child care faculty, staff and students in a clinical health care setting may decline the influenza vaccination are:

  1. Documented medical contraindication.
    1. As described in the Guide to Contraindications to Vaccinations published by the CDC.
  2. Documented receipt of the vaccine from a source other than the University.

We thank you in advance for your support. Additional information and updates will be provided as needed. Questions about this action can be addressed to your human resources representative.