Our new flu vaccination policy implemented last year was a great success — 95 percent of UF Health Shands employees and 91 percent of UF College of Medicine faculty, residents and fellows received their flu vaccination. By doing so, we helped protect our co-workers, patients and the community from the flu, which remains one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
“We should give kudos to our faculty and staff who realized that flu vaccination is part of responsible behavior for a health care worker and embraced that,” said Timothy C. Flynn, M.D., UF College of Medicine senior associate dean for clinical affairs and UF Health Shands Hospital chief medical officer. “It sets a good example for our patients and the community. It reduces mortality and can help make us a healthier community.”
Last flu season we saw a significant reduction in flu-related hospitalizations at our facilities.
“Our staff was very supportive of the policy and it’s becoming a standard nationwide,” said Colleen Counsell, M.S.N., R.N., CCRN, UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital Trauma/Lung Transplant Unit 5W nurse manager. “We all want to make sure our patients are protected. On our floor, we have immunocompromised patients and lung transplant patients. It’s very important that we don’t transmit the flu to them.”
Starting Sept. 9, the groups listed below can get free flu vaccinations at UF Health Shands Occupational Health Services, located at UF Health Shands Hospital (north campus), Room 1004. OHS will also host flu vaccination events on our Archer Road campuses and in several other Gainesville locations.
All UF faculty, staff and students can get free flu vaccinations when the UF Student Health Care Center is on site during flu vaccination events at UF Health. UF students are eligible for free flu shots at SHCC locations at any time.
If you belong to one of the priority groups listed and you choose to get a flu vaccination from a provider outside UF Health or UF, you’ll be asked to show proof of vaccina- tion paperwork to obtain a vaccination sticker for your ID badge.
Beginning Oct. 31, those who choose to opt out of receiving the vaccination for medical, religious or personal reasons will be required to follow a formal opt-out process and wear a mask in patient care areas.
By the numbers (statistics from last flu season) –
95% of UF Health Shands staff were vaccinated
91% of UF College of Medicine faculty, residents and fellows were vaccinated
13,970 flu vaccines were administered by OHS
43 UF Health non-hospital sites were visited by OHS mobile flu carts
The following workers are eligible for a free flu shot through UF Health Shands Occupational Health Services:
- UF Health Shands employees and volunteers
- UF Health Physicians employees
- UF College of Medicine faculty physicians,residents and fellows
- Credentialed ARNPs
- Credentialed physician assistants
- Credentialed medical staff
All UF faculty, staff and students can get free flu vaccinations when the UF Student Health Care Center is on site during flu vaccination events at UF Health.