Hospital requiring employees to get flu vaccine - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Hospital requiring employees to get flu vaccine

By Brad Underwood - bio | email
Posted by Trina Edwards - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Tri-State hospital is requiring all of its employees to get the seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccine.

The rule will affect over 4,000 employees at Christ Hospital.

The hospital is hoping it will assist in protection heading into flu season. Right now, all of the employees are wearing masks, waiting for their turn to get the shot.

"If we're going to protect other people, we need to protect ourselves first," said Rebecca Saroyan, an RN at Christ. "I actually think it's a really good idea as opposed to the employees having to wear a mask 24 hours a day if you don't get the flu shot."

Employees got the news last week, but hospital officials have been thinking about it for months.

"Anyone who comes on our campus could potentially get infected or infect a patient or employee or other person here on our campus," said Dr. Robert Strub. "We had been meeting throughout the summer about this topic knowing that is was probably about to be an issue going forward in this fall flu season."

From doctors to nurses to drug representatives, everyone will get the seasonal flu shot starting next week. Once the H1N1 shot arrives, they'll get that, too.

There are exemptions for those with egg allergies and who have religious reasons.

"Those employees who do not receive the vaccine will be required to wear masks throughout the flu season, when they're in contact with patients here, basically whenever there are in the hospital," said Strub.

Almost everyone in the emergency room wears the mask full time or at least around the patients.

"I think there's a couple people still up in the air about it, but I think for the most part everybody is on board," said Saroyan.

Christ Hospital officials did say they expect other area hospitals to follow the practice soon.

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