Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Flu Vaccination Policy

PURPOSE

Influenza (Flu) occurs in annual epidemics typically during the late fall through early spring causing an annual average of approximately 36,000 deaths and 226,000 hospitalizations in the United States. Since annual influenza vaccination is the most effective method for preventing influenza virus infection and its complications and transmission of influenza is a recognized risk to healthcare workers in healthcare facilities, the annual seasonal influenza vaccine is provided free of charge to all Jefferson employees, students and volunteers. 

POLICY

The annual influenza vaccination is mandatory.  This mandatory vaccination policy applies to the following categories:

  • All TJUH/MHD employees regardless of job category
  • All TJU/JUP employees who provide direct patient care (see DEFINITIONS)
  • All active members of the TJUH medical and professional staff
  • All Jefferson students working in areas providing direct patient care
  • All TJUH volunteers
  • All TJU/JUP volunteers working in areas providing direct patient care
  • All contractors working in TJUH departments or providing direct patient care in TJU/JUP departments
  •  All healthcare industry representatives
  • All visiting non-Jefferson students working in areas providing direct patient care

In the event of vaccine supply delays, the TJUH Infection Control Committee may decide to suspend the policy for the duration of the shortage and will assist with communications regarding the policy suspension.

DEFINITIONS

  • Quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine ((IIV4)– injectable vaccine conferring protection against  4 strains of circulating influenza virus, formulated annually based on past prevalence of viral subtypes.
  • Quadrivalent Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) – nasal spray vaccine containing weakened live virus formulated annually based on past prevalence of viral subtypes.
  • Direct care provider – all healthcare personnel including all paid and unpaid persons working in healthcare settings who have the potential for exposure to patients with influenza, infectious materials, including body substances, contaminated medical supplies and equipment, or contaminated environmental surfaces. This category includes, but is not limited to physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students, contractual staff not employed by Jefferson and persons, i.e. clerical, dietary, housekeeping, maintenance, not directly involved in patient care, but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from healthcare personnel. 

PROCEDURE

  • University Health Services (UHS) and Healthmark (HM) will provide the annual seasonal influenza vaccination free of charge to Jefferson employees/students/volunteers.
  • The  quadrivalent influenza vaccine ()(IIV4) is the preferred vaccine; however, the live attenduated influenza (LAIV4) may be used in certain circumstances.
  • Prioritization of vaccination by job category may be instituted in the event of vaccine shortages or delay in delivery. 

MEDICAL EXEMPTION

  • Those who would like to request a medical exemption must provide the Request for Medical Exemption/Influenza Vaccination to UHS/HM.  This form is to be completed by the employee’s/student’s/volunteer’s treating physician.  It must be submitted for evaluation to UHS/HM.  UHS/HM will notify the employee/student/volunteer if the exemption has been approved.  Medical staff may not complete/sign their own forms.  Medical exemption requests are due by October 31st of each year. A new form must be submitted annually.

RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION

  • An employee, student or active member of the Medical Staff who wishes to request a religious exemption must provide the Request for Religious Exemption/Influenza Vaccination. This form is to be completed by a clergy member.  Employees and Medical Staff must submit the form to Human Resources.  The employee or Medical Staff member will be notified if the exemption has been accepted.  UHS will be advised of the outcome for tracking of compliance.  Students who request a religious exemption must provide the completed Student Request for Religious Exemption/Influenza Vaccination to UHS for review. Religious exemption requests are due by October 31st of each year.  A new form must be submitted annually.

NON-COMPLIANCE

  • Compliance is expected by December 1st of each year.
  • Consequences of non-compliance:
    • Employee: Placement on unpaid leave until compliant for up to  10 business days (Department Manager will be responsible for suspending without pay all employees not in compliance effective the next scheduled workday). Termination for failure to meet mandatory job requirement if employee remains non-compliant after 10 business days.
    • Medical Staff Member: Suspension of privileges
    • Student: Restriction from class and clinical work until compliant
    • Volunteer:  Restriction from volunteer activities until compliant
    • HCIR/Contractor: Restriction from clinical privileges 
  • Multiple occurrences of failing to obtain influenza vaccination timely and/or violations of policies related to maintaining mandatory job requirements may  result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

CONTRACT EMPLOYEES/HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES/VISITING STUDENTS

  • Records of vaccination will be maintained by their employers/schools.
  • Provision of the documentation must be available upon request.
  • Non-compliance will result in suspension of clinical privileges.

Hours
Mondays - Fridays
8am - 5pm  


Edison Building
Suite 1120
(215) 503-6335
(215) 503-2787

 

Read More