November 8, 2022

Employee flu vaccine deadline moved forward to Nov. 18

Already this year, influenza is circulating widely in Tennessee with the state currently experiencing ‘very high’ activity levels according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death.  This year’s flu vaccine is reported to be a good match for the virus’ circulating strains.

To help ensure the health of all employees, and to better protect our patients, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is moving the deadline for employees to receive this year’s flu vaccine from Thursday, Dec. 1, to Friday, Nov. 18.

As per policy, all employees are required to have current influenza, COVID, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella and hepatitis B vaccinations. Exemptions may be requested for medical reasons or severe allergy to a vaccine component, or for deeply held religious or spiritual beliefs.

“Including influenza, COVID and RSV, there are multiple respiratory viruses already circulating widely this fall that are impacting our hospitals and clinics. There is concern, and growing evidence, that a ‘tripledemic’ is possible,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC. “To better ensure the health and safety of everyone, we are moving the date forward this year for mandatory flu vaccines due to these extraordinary circumstances.”

There are multiple options to receive your annual flu vaccination from Occupational Health, or you can get vaccinated anywhere, such as your doctor’s office or a walk-in clinic location, and report it online to Occupational Health.

CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.