Oct. 31: Flu vaccination or surgical masks required

What to know as the flu deadline approaches.

Faculty and staff who haven’t received a flu vaccination by Oct. 31 will be required to wear a surgical/procedural mask in UF Health Shands, UF Health Physicians and other patient care areas during flu season, through March 31. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about our policies and processes.

Can I get a free flu vaccination at UF Health?

Yes, and please make sure you have your ID badge. The following staff can visit UF Health Shands Occupational Health Services (UF Health Shands Hospital, Room 1004) or attend one of OHS’ vaccination events to receive a free flu shot.

  • 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 other UF Health Science Center faculty, staff and students should contact the UF Student Health Care Center regarding flu vaccinations.

How can I show that I received my vaccination?

When you receive your vaccination at UF Health, you’ll be provided with a sticker to display on your ID badge. If you received your flu shot elsewhere, submit proof of vaccination to OHS to get your sticker.

If I opt out of the flu vaccination, where will I have to wear a mask?

If you choose to opt out of flu vaccination, please visit Flu Central on the Bridge for details about the declination process. You will be required to wear a mask in UF Health Shands and UF Health Physicians patient care areas, including:

  • Admissions and registration areas
  • Examination and procedure rooms
  • Inpatient units
  • Open care areas such as holding/waiting areas and post-anesthesia care units
  • Patient waiting areas
  • Outpatient practices and programs
  • Off-site home care settings

Why is flu vaccination so important?

Most outbreaks of influenza in health care facilities are due to non-vaccinated staff. Annual flu vaccination is the primary way health workers can protect ourselves, our patients and the community. Nationally, mandatory vaccination and masking policies have been shown to increase health care workers’ vaccination rates to greater than 95 percent.

Additional questions?

Visit Flu Central at bridge.UFHealth.org/flu for:

  • More answers to FAQs
  • A flu vaccination event calendar
  • Vaccination locations
  • Policies
  • Resources