All ARHS Employees must have Flu Vaccinations completed by November 15th.

ARHS is committed to providing safe care that is free from harm to our community. Patients should expect that healthcare personnel will not inflict avoidable harm in the course of delivering care and treatment. At the same time, healthcare personnel should expect to be protected from acquiring a preventable disease that may cause harm to themselves or their family members. One of the ways we can enhance the safety of our environment is to ensure all those working in our organization are immunized against influenza. Required flu immunizations have become the statewide standard of care in almost all hospitals and health systems across NC. In addition, this mandate is consistent with other immunizations required to work at ARHS (e.g. MMR, Varicella and TB test).

To ensure a safe environment for our patients and employees, consistent with the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and adoption of the ARHS medical staff, all employees are required to be immunized for influenza (flu). The influenza vaccine is now included as part of the annual immunization panel, administered by Occupational Health and required of all employees as a condition of employment.

Ways to receive the flu vaccine this year

Download the Flu Vaccine Consent Form. Complete, print, and bring it with you to the flu clinic for vaccine administration. This will save time to have this step of the process completed prior to coming for vaccine administration.

If you have received the vaccine outside of ARHS you are still required to complete the consent form. There is a section at the bottom of the consent form you must sign if you have received the vaccination elsewhere. Obtain the appropriate vaccine administration documentation, attach to the consent form, and give to Occupational Health for records purposes.

 

You have multiple ways to receive this vaccine:

 

  1. NEW this year: Make an appointment at one of the Flu Shot Clinics offered at both Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital. Instructions for this will be found on the Employee Hub.
  2. Roving Vaccinators may be coming to your work area if you work in off-site locations such as ARMA practices.

 

Tips for successful vaccination experience:

 

  • Don’t put it off. Flu continues to start earlier year after year and you have a two-week period after receiving the vaccination to become immune.
  • Please do not show up at Occupational Health or at any of the clinics without a pre-scheduled appointment.
  • Please make sure you are on time for your appointment. If you show up late for your appointment you may be asked to reschedule your appointment due to the stringent time schedule during the clinic.
  • Please make sure to complete the flu consent form provided on the Employee Hub and bring it with you to the flu clinic. If you show up without your completed consent form you may be asked to reschedule your appointment due to the stringent time schedule during the clinic.
  • Direct any questions or concerns about flu vaccines to Crystal Minton at cminton@apprhs.org or 828-266-1063.

We will not be providing flu vaccinations to family members nor volunteer family members this year due to COVID-19.

Guidelines for Flu Vaccines

To prepare for this year’s flu season, here are the guidelines for influenza immunizations:

Who?

  • Immunization is required of all ARHS employees, medical staff, volunteers, students and contract workers.
  • Flu vaccinations must be obtained and evidence submitted to Occ. Health no later than November 15th. Employees will be unable to work after November 30th without a vaccine.

When?

  • Occupational Health will begin administering the flu vaccine October 5th. Reminder: All employees are expected to adhere to ARHS Standards of Behavior when receiving the vaccination and display courtesy and respect to those vaccinating staff.

How?

  • Flu vaccines are available in two forms: flu shot and flu shot not cultured in egg. Egg allergies are no longer a reason to refuse the flu vaccine. Nasal spray is no longer available.
  • Employees who obtain the flu vaccination through a service/provider outside of Occupational Health (e.g. private physician, public clinic) must provide verification of vaccination by flu shot to Occupational Health on or before November 15th.
  • If you are 65 and older, your provider may encourage a higher dose vaccine. 

Exceptions?

  • If you are unable to receive the flu vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may request an exemption from the vaccination. All exemption requests must state the specific reason for the exemption and be signed by the employee’s attending physician or outline your religious beliefs. A request for medical exemption will be subject to approval by a team of Infection Control professionals. Religious exemption request will be subject to approval from Human Resources in consult with Pastoral Care.
  • Persons receiving an exemption last year will not have to re-apply and will be notified of their exemption status.

Our role as healthcare providers is to maintain the safest environment possible for our patients and our employees. Everyone has a role in contributing to this safe environment.

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