Flu shot: Part of worker, patient safety

Dec. 11, 2012 at 10:47 PM

CHICAGO, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A Chicago-area physician says the seasonal flu vaccine is an important element of both hospital patient safety and worker safety.

Dr. Jorge Parada, medical director of the infection prevention and control program at Loyola University Health System, near Chicago, said for the fourth year in a row, Loyola required all employees, students, volunteers and even vendors receive the seasonal flu vaccination. Parada oversees the Loyola employee campaign to have all vaccinated with a seasonal flu shot.

"Some jobs require you to wear a helmet and steel-toed boots, hospital staff need vaccinations to protect themselves and others from infectious diseases," Parada said in a statement. "When people are ill they go to the doctor, and when they are really ill they go to the hospital, and as an academic medical center, Loyola cares for the sickest of the sick.

"Our staff needs self-protection from patients with the flu and we also need to not transmit the flu to vulnerable patients. Requirement of the flu vaccination is a win-win situation."

Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a 61-acre main medical center campus, with the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility.

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