Flu Vaccination Policy
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 Thomas Jefferson University and its controlled affiliates’ employees, students and volunteers.
The annual influenza vaccination is mandatory. This mandatory vaccination policy applies to:
- All individuals employed by a Jefferson clinical entity;
- All Jefferson employees, volunteers and contractors who engage in regular contact with clinical areas;
- All Jefferson Medical Staff members;
- All Jefferson students in clinical programs;
- All health care industry representatives (HCIR) at a Jefferson site; All visiting students in Jefferson clinical areas.
Excluded from this mandate: Jefferson University employees who are not direct care providers (see DEFINITION) and do not work in clinical areas. Vaccination is offered and highly recommended to all Jefferson University employees. In the event of vaccine supply delays, the Jefferson Infection Control Committee may decide to suspend the policy for the duration of the shortage and will assist with communications regarding the policy suspension
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.
Clinical entity - Jefferson Northeast, Jefferson New Jersey, Jefferson Abington, Magee. TJU Hospital, Jefferson University Physicians, Methodist Hospital, Jefferson Medical Group.
Jefferson will provide the annual seasonal influenza vaccination free of charge to Jefferson employees/Medical Staff members/students/volunteers. Contractors, health care industry representatives and visiting students are required to submit documentation of their influenza vaccines to the employee health clinics. (See below). They are not eligible for vaccination through these clinics.
Jefferson employees/students/volunteers who wish to be vaccinated elsewhere must submit documentation to their prospective employee health office as listed below. The required documentation must include the brand name of the vaccine, the lot number, the expiration date, the signature of the vaccinator. Incomplete documentation will not be accepted. Faxes are not accepted. Vaccinations given in the Jefferson physician practices are documented in the EMR and are NOT automatically transferred to the employee health clinics.
Center City JOHN/Suite 205 - 215 955-6835
Methodist JOHN/Suite 204 - 215 955-0152
Abington JOHN/Abington - 215 481-2233
Lansdale JOHN/ Lansdale - 215 361-4699
Northeast JOHN/Northeast - 215 612-4637
New Jersey JOHN/New Jersey - 856-346-6050
Magee JOHN/Suite 204 - 215 955-0152
Prioritization of vaccination by job category may be instituted in the event of vaccine shortages or delay in delivery.
A request for a medical exemption may be submitted to Jefferson Occupational Health Network, Suite 205 in Center City. Faxes are not accepted. The request must be submitted on the Jefferson Request for Medical Exemption/Influenza Vaccination. This form is to be completed by the employee’s/student’s/volunteer’s treating physician. Medical staff may not complete/sign their own forms. Medical exemption requests are due by October 1st. The Medical Director of JOHN will notify the employee/student/volunteer if the exemption has been approved permanently or provisionally.
In the event of an approved medical exemption, an employee’s duties may be modified for the influenza season by his or her department following consultation with Human Resources. If no alternate duty is available and it is unsafe to the employee, other employees or patients for the employee in his/her regular assignment, the employee may not be allowed to work. If the employee has ETO/PTO time available, he/she may use it in order to be paid. Volunteers with approved medical exemptions may be restricted from high-risk areas following evaluation on a case-by-case basis by the Medical Director of JOHN and the Infection Control Officer.
A request for a medical exemption may be submitted using the Jefferson Request for Religious Exemption/Influenza Vaccination. This form is to be completed by a clergy member. The employee/student/volunteer will be notified if the exemption has been accepted. JOHN will be advised of the outcome for tracking of compliance. Religious exemption requests are due by October 1st for the 2019/2020 season. A new form must be submitted annually.
In the event of an approved religious exemption, an employee’s duties may be modified for the influenza season by his or her department following consultation with Human Resources. If no alternate duty is available and it is unsafe to the employee, other employees or patients for the employee in his/her regular assignment, the employee may not be allowed to work. If the employee has ETO/PTO time available, he/she may use it in order to be paid. Volunteers with approved religious exemptions may be restricted from high-risk areas with evaluations on a case-by-case basis by the Medical Director of JOHN and the Infection Control Officer.
Deadline for compliance: November 15th
Consequences of non-compliance:
- Employee: Placement on suspension until compliant for up to 14 business days.
Termination for failure to meet mandatory job requirement if employee remains non-compliant after 14 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.