Public Health Nurse Christina Cordova gives Dr Patricia Daly her annual flu shot.

Who are you fighting the flu for?

I’m fighting the flu for my 88-year-old father. I get the flu shot to protect my father, who lives at home with supports but is very frail – influenza and pneumonia could kill him or institutionalize him. Your participation in the annual health care worker immunization program will protect our most vulnerable patients, like my father. But there could be many other reasons why you get the flu shot or wear a mask. Who are you fighting the flu for? It could be your newborn infant, clients you look after at a residential care facility, your colleague who had a kidney transplant, pregnant patients, a client with diabetes who you see at their home, or simply to protect yourself.

All staff must receive a flu shot or decide to wear a mask, and report it online by December 1. Reporting only takes a minute. Have your employee ID number and report here (staff and residents): www.influenzareporting.org. Physicians (including dentists, midwives, psychologists, podiatrists, denturists, nurse practitioners and fellows) report at https://medicalstaffhealth.vch.ca/.

Prizes
Everyone who reports online by December 1, whether you choose to vaccinate or mask, will be entered to win a multitude of prizes including a Fitbit Blaze Smart Watch and $20 coffee cards.

Flu clinics
You can get your free flu shot now through peer immunizers (check with your manager), at a staff clinic (listed at www.vch.ca/staff-flu best viewed in Chrome, Safari or Firefox), from your family doctor, pharmacist, or walk-in clinic. ImmunizeBC.ca lists public clinics which you may also go to. Please bring your Care Card and employee ID card with you.

Masks

Masks will be available on the units for staff and visitors once the flu season is declared, usually December 1. Masks must be worn in patient care areas for the duration of the flu season.

Last year, the majority of you got the flu shot, 78%. The remaining staff wore masks. Both of these options will protect our patients and clients, and everyone else you may be fighting the flu for, and we can help you find the option that works best for you.

More info
Please visit the VCH staff flu page www.vch.ca/staff-flu. We welcome any questions to fluprevention@vch.ca.

Whatever your reason, since we work in health care, we have a responsibility to fight the flu, by getting immunized or wearing a mask to care for the vulnerable. Thank you for your continued commitment to providing safe, high quality care to our patients, residents and clients.

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