ELIZABETH, NJ – In light of the highest number of flu cases in New Jersey 15 years, Trinitas Regional Medical Center says that their strict flu vaccination policy has resulted in a 97% compliance rate among employees. The remaining 3% have exercised an exception for medical or religious reasons.
“Our compliance rate places Trinitas among employers with the highest percentage of employees vaccinated against the flu in the state,” says Gary Horan, President, and CEO. “We are proud of our policy and stand by it in an effort to protect everyone involved. It’s considered a safe vaccine and it’s a wise precaution for us all to take considering what is at stake. We want to make sure that Trinitas is doing everything possible to prevent flu from not only negatively affecting our patients, but also our employees, their family members and the community we serve.”
Initiated by key medical staff members and validated by Horan, the influenza policy was amended in Feb. 2017 to provide that all employees on and after Sept. 1, 2017, would be required, as a term and condition of continued employment, to receive an annual influenza vaccine, except if the employee has an actual religious restriction or documented medical contraindication, according to Glenn E. Nacion, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Trinitas.
“Given the severity of this year’s flu strain, we are very thankful that our Medical Staff, Infection Control professionals, and the Executive team had the foresight to require all eligible employees to receive the flu vaccine at no cost,” says Nacion. “Likewise, Trinitas is extremely proud that our workforce has a significantly higher compliance rate than most other hospitals and exceeds the 90% vaccination rate that was established under National Influenza Initiatives.”
“The fact that influenza is a vaccine-preventable disease makes it that much more crucial to comply,” says Dr. William Farrer, FIDSA, FSHEA, Hospital Epidemiologist and Chair, Infection Prevention and Control Committee. “It is particularly important for hospital employees to get their influenza immunization each year, both because they don't want to spread the flu to patients and because if large numbers of our staff were out with the flu, who would take care of our patients?” he states. “We are particularly proud of our immunization rate this year, achieved by the hard work of our Employee Health Department and other staff.”