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Last Updated: 11/21/2012

The following is an excerpt of a mandate that was distributed to many, if not all, employees of Premier Health Partners.  Premier HealthNet (PHN) is the largest group of primary care practices in the Miami Valley.  PHN has offices located throughout southwest Ohio from Vandalia to West Chester.  PHN is part of Premier Health Partners, which includes Miami Valley Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Atrium Medical Center and Upper Valley Medical Center.

 

Premier Health Partners

Frequently Asked Questions

Mandatory Influenza Vaccination Program

 

The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA) has recommended that all hospitals in our area require flu vaccination for their employees.  Premier Health Partners has agreed to accept this recommendation for all employees beginning in the 2012 flu season.

 

1.  What are the facts about flu?

·A required flu program will protect patients, employees, employee’s family members, and our community from flu infection by getting a flu vaccination every year.

·Every year, the flu causes:

o       36,000 deaths

o       More than 200,000 extra hospitalizations

o       Higher morbidity, mortality, and length of stay for hospitalized patients

o       Flu is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in the U.S. every year

 

2.  Is the vaccine safe?

·Flu vaccines are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are the safest, best way to protect people from getting the flu.

·The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration keep the vaccines safe in the United States.

·Flu vaccines have been safely made and given since the 1940s. Influenza vaccine is very safe.

·The most common side effects of the injectable (inactivated) influenza vaccine include soreness, redness, or swelling at the site of the injection. These reactions are temporary and occur in 15%–20% of people receiving the shot. Less than 1% of vaccine recipients develop symptoms such as fever, chills, and muscle aches for 1 to 2 days following the shot. These symptoms are more likely to occur in a person who has never been exposed to the influenza virus or vaccine. Experiencing these side effects does not mean that you are getting influenza.

 

3.  What type of vaccine is offered?

·At all PHP facilities, we will only offer an inactivated intramuscular (shot into arm muscle) vaccine.

 

4.  Since the nasal mist vaccine IS NOT being offered within the hospital, can I still get the nasal vaccine from an outside provider?

·Yes, you may get the nasal vaccine from an outside source

·Please be reminded that only healthy, non-pregnant people <49 years of age qualify for the nasal mist.  This includes health care personnel and others in close contact with groups at risk for complications from influenza.

·Please read PHP influenza policy for specific details on  work restrictions after taking the nasal mist.

 

5.  Can the vaccine cause the flu?

·Flu vaccines work by helping the body's defenses in the event a person is exposed to the flu virus.

·Flu shots contain dead viruses that do not make you sick.

·It takes about two weeks after receiving flu vaccine to develop full immunity, so it is possible for a person to get the flu right after receiving their flu vaccine.

 

6.  When should I get my flu vaccine?

·The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people should get their yearly flu vaccine as soon as it is available. Vaccination before December is best so that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is at its highest. At our hospitals, the vaccine is usually available in October. The CDC encourages people to get vaccinated throughout the flu season, which can begin as early as October and end as late as May. 

·The flu vaccine is now mandatory for all employees. We expect flu shots to be given in the fall as soon as the vaccine is available.  If you have any questions about the mandatory flu vaccine, talk to your manager or supervisor, or contact the Employee Health Office.

 

7.  Why do I need to get vaccinated against the flu every year?

·You can get the flu more than once during your lifetime. The natural protection built up from having the flu caused by one virus strain doesn't always protect you when a new strain is circulating.

·A vaccine made against flu viruses going around last year may not protect against a new virus that is going around. That is why the flu vaccine is updated every year to include current viruses.

·Another reason to get flu vaccine every year is that after you get vaccinated, your immunity declines over time and may be too low to protect you after a year goes by.

 

8.  How can you make me take the vaccine?

·The flu vaccine is something healthcare workers can do every year to prevent spreading the virus to our patients and other co-workers.   

·PHP has adopted the policy this year requiring that all staff receive the flu vaccine. You always have a choice not to receive the flu vaccine.  However, your choice not to receive it, without an approved exemption, will be considered a voluntary resignation of your employment with your respective PHP affiliated facility.

 

9.  I don’t work in a clinical area. Why do I need the flu vaccine?

·Employees that do not directly take care of patients may still interact with employees that do and can spread the virus to them. We are a healthcare organization; we all have a responsibility to stop the transmission of the flu.

 

10.  What will you accept as proof if I am receiving the flu vaccine from another employer/facility/drug store?

·We will accept written proof from the provider who gave the flu vaccine with the date that you received the vaccine included on it.

 

11.  What if I have an allergy to the vaccine?

·We will allow medical exemptions following CDC guidelines, which state the following people should not be vaccinated with flu vaccine:

·People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.

·People who have had a severe, documented allergy to a previous flu vaccine.

·People who have developed Guillian-Barre syndrome within six weeks following a flu vaccine.

·People who have moderate to severe illness, with a fever (can receive when they are better).

 

12.  What if I have an egg allergy?

·According to the CDC: "only a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to egg protein is a contraindication” (MMWR August 26, 2011 / 60(33);1128-1132).

·"Influenza vaccine should be given to persons with less severe egg allergies as long as certain conditions are observed," says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

·People with a less severe allergy were defined as those who have experienced only hives following exposure to eggs.

·Flu vaccination for those at risk for more severe reactions will be handled differently.

·Employees and volunteers with egg allergies should discuss the flu vaccine with their doctors.

 

13.  What about other serious reactions?

·Serious reactions to the vaccine are very rare. Such reactions are most likely the result of an allergy to a vaccine component.

·In 1976, the swine flu (injectable) vaccine was associated with a severe illness called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a nerve condition that can result in temporary paralysis. Injectable influenza vaccines since then have not been clearly linked with GBS, because the disease is so rare it is difficult to obtain a precise estimate of any increase in risk. However, as a precaution, any person without a high risk medical condition who previously experienced GBS within 6 weeks of an influenza vaccination should generally not be vaccinated.

 

14.  How do I obtain a medical exemption for the influenza vaccine?

·If a true medical exemption is present, you will need to go to Employee Health or the intranet site to receive a copy of the Medical Exemption Form.

·You will need to take the form to your health care provider and have them complete the form. 

·The completed form should be given to the hospital Employee Health nurse and will be reviewed by the PHP Influenza Vaccine Exemption Committee. This form will be placed in your Employee Health file.

·Medical exemptions must be received within 2 weeks from the start date of vaccine administration.

 

15.  "I always get sick from the flu vaccine…is PHP going to pay for my time off or medical care when I get sick from the vaccine?”

·Any reaction or side effect directly related to the flu shot that requires medical care should be reported to Employee Health and, if necessary, will be evaluated through Employee Health, Urgent Care, or the Emergency Room.

·The flu shot is made with a dead virus and cannot cause you to get sick from the flu.

·The CDC reports that the most common side effect is soreness or redness where the shot was given.

·Fever following the flu vaccine is uncommon, and allergic reactions are rare.

 

16.  Is it safe for pregnant women to get influenza vaccine?

·Yes. In fact, vaccination with the flu shot is recommended for women who will be pregnant during the flu season.

·Pregnant women are at a higher risk for serious medical problems if they get the flu.  One recent study found that the risk of flu-related hospitalizations was four times higher in healthy pregnant women in the fourteenth week of pregnancy or later than in nonpregnant women.

·In addition, vaccination of the mother will provide some protection for her newborn infant.

 

17.  What can you tell me about the preservatives in the vaccine?

·Phenol, aluminum, and ethylene glycol are not in the vaccines we are using.

·Thimerosal is a preservative that has been used to prevent contamination in vaccines for more than 50 years. It is made of a type of mercury known as ethylmercury. It is different from methylmercury, which is the form that is in fish and seafood. At very high levels, methylmercury can be toxic to people, especially to the neurological development of infants.

·People who eat seafood probably get more mercury than anyone getting the vaccine.

·Mercury in fish = 1.1 - 41.1 micrograms of mercury per ounce

·One can of tuna = 29 micrograms of mercury

·Thimerosol (mercury-containing preservative) in vaccine = less than 1 microgram/dose

 

18.  Can herbal, homeopathic or other folk remedies protect against the flu?

·According to the CDC, there is no scientific evidence that any herbal, homeopathic or other folk remedies have any benefit against influenza.

 

 

Trusted websites addressing vaccine safety of all vaccines, including influenza are:(www.vaccinesafety.eduwww.immunize.orghttp://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/home.html). These sites are at Johns Hopkins, the Immunization Action Coalition, and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, respectively.

 

And there you have it.  Employees of PHN no longer retain the right to bodily autonomy.  You cannot make your own medical choices if you want to keep your job.  It's happening all over the country, it isn't isolated to the Dayton Ohio community.  If you listen to THEM....you will voluntarily give up your rights and your children will no longer even have the choice.  This is NOT going to stop with the health care field.  NEVERMIND them.... stand up for yourself while you still have the choice..... if you wait.... well... what if you do?

 

More on forced vaccination:

Employers Forcing Vaccinations

More on Forced Vaccination

Flu Vaccine Refusal Form

 

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