Cincinnati Children’s Requiring Seasonal Flu Vaccine for Employees
Friday, September 25, 2009
Cincinnati Children’s is requiring all employees to receive a seasonal flu vaccine by November 15. This requirement does not apply to vaccinations for H1N1.
“Protecting our patients, families and staff is the top priority of Cincinnati Children’s,” says Michael Farrell, MD, chief of staff. “We feel it’s tremendously important for all employees to get vaccinated. That’s why in the past we have put so much emphasis on encouraging vaccinations and why this year we are requiring them.”
Employees with medical contraindications or those who have received the vaccine from another provider are exempt. Beginning next fall, seasonal flu vaccination will be a condition of continued employment at Cincinnati Children’s.
Evidence shows a considerable need to protect children from influenza, according to Dr. Farrell. Every year:
- At least one of every 10 children has an outpatient sick visit due to influenza
- Approximately one of every 1,000 children will be hospitalized due to influenza
- Influenza is responsible for 36,000 deaths among children and adults
- Influenza is the single largest killer worldwide of children under 5.
The vaccine is being distributed first to high-risk areas of the medical center, with priority being given to employees in patient-care areas. Employees who refuse the vaccine will receive a five-day, unpaid suspension.
About Cincinnati Children’s
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of 10 children’s hospitals in the United States to make the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Reports 2009-10 Americas Best Children’s Hospitals issue. It is #1 ranked for digestive disorders and is also highly ranked for its expertise in respiratory diseases, cancer, neonatal care, heart care, neurosurgery, diabetes, orthopedics, kidney disorders and urology. One of the three largest children’s hospitals in the U.S., Cincinnati Children’s is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health.
President Barack Obama in June 2009 cited Cincinnati Children’s as an island of excellence in health care. For its achievements in transforming health care, Cincinnati Children’s is one of six U.S. hospitals since 2002 to be awarded the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize for leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment to patient care. The hospital is a national and international referral center for complex cases. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org.