Influenza remains a serious medical issue facing our community. More than 100 North Carolinians died from the disease last year. As health care providers, we share an obligation to protect our patients and their families, as well as ourselves. So I’m here today to issue a challenge:
This flu season, I want 95 percent of the faculty, staff and learners on our campus to be vaccinated against this potentially fatal illness by Dec. 1. That percentage marks the vaccination rate needed to achieve “community immunity” and protect East Carolina University’s Division of Health Sciences against the flu. Additionally, an influenza vaccination is now mandatory for all of our clinical staff. Those individuals who fail to meet the vaccination deadline of Dec. 1, 2014, may face disciplinary action.
We do have a process in place for workers or learners who demonstrate that an exemption is warranted based on a medical contraindication or a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance. These requests will be thoroughly reviewed before an exemption is granted.
I strongly encourage those employees on the campus who are not involved in direct patient care to get vaccinated. Even if you are not in a clinic, you are likely interacting – over lunch, in meetings, or in our classrooms – with someone who is. My goal is to protect as many people as possible in our community.
Influenza vaccinations can be obtained from any source selected by an employee or student as long as documentation of vaccination is submitted through the approved process. Additionally, four flu shot clinics are scheduled this fall at ECU: three on the Health Sciences Campus and one on East Campus. Those clinics will be convenient and the vaccination is free to employees who present their insurance cards.
Details on those clinics and our vaccination program can be found at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/cipp/. There, you will also find the procedures for receiving and documenting your vaccination, schedules for immunization clinics, vaccine information sheets, vaccination consent forms, exception request forms, FAQs and other details. If you have other questions after you visit the website, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks for your commitment to this effort.
Dr. Phyllis Horns, Vice Chancellor Health Sciences