Patient and employee safety are top priorities at UNC Health Care. For many years, we have recommended an Influenza (flu) vaccine for every employee. In an effort to ensure the health of our patients, colleagues and families, UNC Health Care will initiate a mandatory employee flu vaccine program during the 2012-2013 flu season.
Additionally, medical staff, students, volunteers, vendors and any School of Medicine employees identified as providing service in one of the UNC Health Care facilities are also required to receive a flu vaccine.
Beginning in September, flu vaccines will be widely available at locations across UNC Health Care. Both inactivated (shots) and live attenuated (nasal spray) flu vaccines will be available through Occupational Health Services (OHS). School of Medicine employees may obtain vaccines through the University’s Employee Occupational Health Clinic.
We understand that some colleagues have valid medical or religious reasons that do not allow them to receive a flu vaccine. For these reasons, exemption forms will be available on our Flu Vaccine website, as well as the University’s Environmental Health and Safety website, for employees with a medical contraindication or for those who wish to declare a religious exemption. Forms also will be available on the Flu Vaccine site for those who receive a flu vaccine at another location (e.g., private provider, CVS).
The flu is associated with more than 150,000 hospitalizations and 24,000 deaths annually. Together we have made great strides in increasing patient safety across UNC Health Care. We believe that receiving a flu vaccine is a simple way to help keep our patients – and each other – safe.
William L. Roper
CEO, UNC Health Care System
Dean, UNC School of Medicine