Important Information Regarding Influenza

Please read this message from Dr. Brian Goldstein and memo from Dr. David Weber.

Please read below the memo from Dr. Weber regarding seasonal influenza vaccine.  I urge you to get this vaccine (and the novel H1N1 vaccine when we receive it in a few weeks) unless you have a medical contraindication.

I believe that each of us has an ethical duty to take all reasonable measures to keep from transmitting these potentially dangerous viruses to our patients and to each other.  The best way to do this, by far, is to be vaccinated. 
Brian P. Goldstein, MD, MBA, FACP
Chief of Staff, UNC Hospitals
Executive Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, UNC School of Medicine

TO:         Medical Staff, House Staff, and Hospitals/HCS Employees
FROM:    David J. Weber, MD, MPH
              Medical Director, Occupational Health Service (OHS), UNC Hospitals
              Interim Medical Director, University Employee Occupational Health (UEOHC), UNC at Chapel Hill
RE:         Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
DATE:    23 September 2009
Each year seasonal influenza results in ~250,000 hospitalizations and ~35,000 deaths.  Healthcare workers may acquire infection at work and have served as the source of infection for patients.  Importantly, people may be infectious for up to 24 hours before they develop symptoms.  Influenza vaccine is a safe and effective method for preventing infection.  For these reasons, the Centers for Disease Control, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, professional organizations, and UNC believe that all healthcare providers should receive influenza vaccine annually (unless medically contraindicated).
UNC has now received its full allotment of seasonal influenza vaccine and vaccine is available to both University and UNC Health Care personnel.  Both inactivated (flu shots) and live attenuated (nasal spray) are available. 
UNC Hospitals and UNC Health Care System Personnel (includes residents and most subspecialty residents)
All employees must provide their ID badge and employee ID number (EID) to receive vaccine.  Walk-in clinics are offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 AM to 4 PM in OHS (1st floor, West Wing).  For added convenience, UNC Hospitals Occupational Health Service (OHS) will provide multiple clinics onsite at Hospital Units (e.g., ED).  OHS will open at 7 AM on the following Mondays: 21 September, 28 September, 5 October and 12 October.  In addition, mobile carts will be used to provide vaccine throughout UNC Hospitals.  All vaccine used is thimerosal free. 
UNC (University) Employees
For those in the Immunization Program – i.e. physicians and nurses providing patient care – you can get vaccinated at the University Employees Occupational Health Clinic (UEOHC), now located  on the 2nd floor of the Health Affairs Bookstore building (the Bookstore itself will be closing on Sept. 25th but the UEOHC will remain at this new location).  Walk-in clinics will take place from 8:30 AM to 11 AM, and 1 PM to 4 PM each day except Tuesdays; or you may schedule a clinic visit by calling 966-9119.  You will be asked to provide your University PID number (on UNC one card). 
All other UNC employees can sign up for vaccine at  Thimerosal free vaccine is available. 
Flu Fairs
•         23 September, 8-9 PM, 4 Anderson Conference Room *(1)
•         10 October, 6-9 AM, NC Children’s Hospital Lobby *(1)
•         14 October, 6:30 AM-5 PM, Women’s Hospital Conference Rooms 3 and 4 *(1,2)
•         10 November, 6:30 AM-5 PM, Women’s Hospital Conference Rooms 3 and 4 *(1,2)
•         11 December, 6:30 AM-5 PM, Women’s Hospital Conference Rooms 3 and 4 *(1,2)

*(1) Staffed by OHS        (2) Staffed by UEOHC
Novel H1N1 Vaccine
On 15 September the FDA approved novel H1N1 vaccines produced by 4 companies.  The vaccine is produced using the same methods as seasonal influenza.  Vaccine will be available in early to mid-October.  A single dose of vaccine has been shown to produce a “protective antibody” response in approximately 10 days.  A future memo will discuss indications, contraindications, and administration. 

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