Community Immunity: Seasonal Flu Vaccination Program Begins
By Carin Bennett-Rizzo, MS, ANP-BC, COHN-S
Interim Director, Occupational Health Services
Tower 15CD's Matt Janik, BSN, RN, administers flu vaccine to his colleague, Dyanna Sun, BSN, RN, as part of the Peer-to-Peer vaccination program.
Influenza (flu) is an acute viral respiratory infection that spreads easily from person to person. The flu is also a serious public health issue that causes severe illness and death for higher risk populations. Each year in the U.S., influenza is the cause of death for thousands. It is also responsible for more than 200,000 hospital admissions in the nation. At BWH, we saw many of these types of admissions last year, and the BWH Safety Matters publication highlighted two BWH patients who contracted the flu during their extended hospital stays.
The most effective way to prevent the flu or severe outcomes from the illness is vaccination. Vaccination is important for people at higher risk of serious influenza complications, and for people who live with or care for high-risk individuals. As nurses, we are in a prime position to educate, influence and protect our patients, families and the general public. I encourage you to get the seasonal influenza vaccination, which will be available in the following ways:
- Peer-to-Peer vaccination program: Sept. 16 - Dec. 15
- Tower 2 mezzanine, opposite Shop on the Pike: Sept. 21 - 28, 6:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
- Occupational Health Service (OHS) at Neville House: beginning Sept. 30,
Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
BWH Occupational Health and the Peer-to-Peer Program will offer the trivalent vaccine to employees and the egg-free vaccine for employees with a true egg allergy. The 2013-2014 seasonal influenza trivalent vaccine contains: A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus, A/Victoria/361/2011, and a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.
If you are home and develop flu-like symptoms, please do not come to work. You are required to follow the call-out procedure for your department, notify your manager and please call (do not visit) Occupational Health at 617-732-6034. If you are at work and develop flu-like symptoms, notify your manager and go home as soon as possible, as you are potentially infectious to others. Call Occupational Health from home to report your illness.
With questions about flu vaccine, please call OHS at 617-732-6034.