Duke Hospital vaccinates staff against flu
Posted September 27, 2011
Durham, N.C. — Flu season isn’t here yet, but doctors say now is the time to get immunized.
Health care workers are considered at high risk for the flu, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show only 64 percent of workers actually get the vaccinated.
Duke University Hospital offers free on-site flu vaccinations for workers. Last year, the hospital immunized 74 percent of the health care staff. This year, officials said they hope to immunize all 13,000 workers within a 24-hour window. Shots are voluntary.
"By trying to do it all in one day, we're really trying to see how effective can we test our emergency preparedness," said Dr. Cameron Wolfe, an infectious disease specialist at Duke.
It's a drill to test the hospital’s mobilization abilities in something like an unexpected flu pandemic. Officials want employees to be healthy enough to work and to avoid passing the virus to patients.
It is one reason Rebecca Perry, who works in Duke's transfusions services department, always takes advantage of these events.
"It's very easy to be vaccinated. It's very quick. So, I can just step away from work and go right back," Perry said.
Terence Hudson, who works in Duke's patient transport services department, also got a flu shot on Tuesday. He used to avoid it because many people would complain it made them feel sick.
The rumors that you can catch the flu from the vaccine aren’t true, Wolfe said. He also got vaccinated on Tuesday.