The 2011–2012 flu season is approaching and UTMB Health is ready. The Employee Health Clinic has ample supplies of the vaccine again this year and will be offering free flu shots for all employees, retirees and volunteers. Flu vaccines are currently being offered at off-campus clinic locations and will be available on campus starting Oct. 5.

It is recommended that all individuals six months of age and older receive an annual influenza vaccine, unless they have a specific medical reason for not getting vaccinated. In addition, all health care workers are recommended to receive an annual vaccination as a way to protect themselves, their families and their patients. 
This year’s vaccine protects against three seasonal flu strains, including H1N1. Any of these strains can cause severe complications, particularly in older people, young children and people with certain health conditions. The best way to keep yourself and those around you healthy is by getting vaccinated each year and taking everyday preventive actions — such as frequent hand-washing — to stop the spread of germs.
Last year 89 percent of UTMB’s health care workers were vaccinated. This high vaccination rate shows our strong commitment to protecting patients and staff from the flu. Again this year, we strongly encourage all health care workers to get the vaccine. By getting vaccinated, you play a critical role in preventing the spread of flu and its related complications.
This year all health care workers will again be required to participate in the flu vaccination campaign by either receiving the vaccine or formally declining it. Health care workers are considered those who provide direct patient care, enter a patient’s room, or meet patients face to face within six feet in the course of their duties.
Beginning on or around December 9, Health System leadership may require all health care workers who are not vaccinated to wear a mask while providing care, based on influenza activity in the region. Click here for details of this year’s vaccination campaign, and for a schedule of upcoming vaccine clinics.
Thank you for all you do for UTMB Health and for all your efforts to keep the flu at bay this year.
Donna K. Sollenberger, MA
Executive Vice President,
Chief Executive Officer
UTMB Health System