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Vol. LX, No. 19
September 19, 2008

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Flu Vaccine for NIH Employees Starts in October

The flu vaccine will be available to NIH employees free of charge, starting in October. Look for the upcoming schedule and locations at the Division of Safety web site You must have an NIH employee badge to be vaccinated.

NIH has modified the flu vaccine requirements. Starting this year, flu vaccine is mandatory for all employees who have contact with Clinical Center patients. The medical executive committee approved the new requirement in February 2008. Those who are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated by OMS will be required to sign a declination form explaining their reason.

Despite evidence that vaccinating health care workers protects patients from influenza, the health care workforce has a surprisingly low rate of influenza vaccination. An emerging consensus among public health experts has led the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the for Healthcare Epidemiology of America to call for universal vaccination of health care workers. In an effort to promote patient safety and reduce the risk of hospital-based transmission of influenza, the Clinical Center has adopted this strategy. Health care workers with medical contraindications or religious or philosophical objections to vaccination will submit declination forms.

The influenza vaccine for the 2008-2009 season contains the following strains recommended by FDAs vaccines and related biological products advisory committee: A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like virus, A/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus and B/Florida/4/2006-like virus.

If you have questions about the influenza vaccine, call the Clinical Center Hospital Epidemiology Service at (301) 496-2209. NIHRecord Icon

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