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New Flu Vaccination Policy Announced

Effective Dec. 15, Healthcare Workers Must Be Vaccinated or Wear Masks in Patient Care Areas

To help ensure our patients' safety and to comply with a recent mandate issued by the County of Los Angeles Public Health Officer, Cedars-Sinai is implementing a new influenza vaccination policy. The policy requires all healthcare workers to receive a flu vaccination or, if they decline vaccination, to wear a surgical mask while working in patient care areas. Enforcement of the policy will begin on Dec. 15.

Health Officer Order on Influenza Vaccination (PDF)

The policy applies to all paid and unpaid employees, including medical staff, contractors, students and volunteers, who work in areas where patient care is provided or who otherwise have direct contact with patients. In addition to inpatient areas on the main campus, this includes outpatient areas such as ambulatory care and urgent care clinics.

Flu Shot Community Event

Cedars-Sinai is offering flu shots to the community at a free event Sunday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in ECC A-C. Employees, family members and others may attend.

Free parking will be available in Lot 2.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Community Health and Education and the Department of Nursing Services.

For more information, call ext. 3-9581.

Flu Shot Community Event - Nov. 3 (PDF)

"On Oct. 2, the County of Los Angeles Public Health issued an order mandating that healthcare workers wear a mask during flu season if they do not receive their annual flu vaccination," said Rekha Murthy, MD, director of Hospital Epidemiology. "The order affects acute care hospitals such as Cedars-Sinai, as well as skilled nursing facilities in the county. It will remain in effect until March 31, 2014, when the flu season typically ends, although that period can be extended if necessary."

"We hope that all CSMC employees as well as members of the medical staff, many of whom have already been vaccinated, will help to protect our patients by getting their flu vaccination and complying with this new policy," said Chief Operating Officer Mark Gavens and Chief of Staff Steve Galen, MD. "Beginning Dec. 15, we will distribute 'badge buddies' to everyone to help us enforce the policy. Individuals who have been vaccinated will wear green badges and those who have not been vaccinated will wear orange badges, in addition to putting on a surgical mask while in patient care areas."

According to the County of Los Angeles Public Health, policies mandating vaccination or masking have been shown to raise vaccination rates among healthcare personnel above 95 percent. Currently, the rates of healthcare personnel vaccination in Los Angeles range between 40 to 60 percent. Last year, 71 percent of Cedars-Sinai employees were vaccinated.

The green and orange badges will be distributed beginning in mid-November. For those employees who have already been vaccinated, the badges will be given to their managers/directors for distribution to appropriate personnel.

If you have questions, please contact your manager or Hospital Epidemiology. Thank you for your assistance in making the medical center as safe as possible for our patients.