Flu vaccinations: Another important way to protect the community

August 31, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees, ,
"Get flu vaccine" shown on a calendar for someone to do that day.

While much of the recent discussion has been around the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s that time of year where we now begin to think about the upcoming flu vaccine.

As flu season approaches, it remains vital that all Michigan Medicine employees receive a flu vaccination this year. Getting the vaccine demonstrates our continued commitment to providing the safest possible environment for patients, families, employees and visitors.

Under the organization’s influenza vaccination policy, faculty, staff, students and volunteers must receive their annual vaccine by Dec. 1, 2021 or receive an approved exemption or declination. This includes all employees who work remotely. Those with an approved exemption or declination will be required to wear a mask in patient care areas for the entire flu season.

Members of AFSCME, BMETs of the Skilled Trades Union, IUOE and UMPNC unions should refer to their union contracts and/or memoranda of understanding pertaining to flu vaccinations for additional information that applies to each of the respective unions.

What you need to know about this year’s flu season

Beginning Sept. 1, Occupational Health Services (OHS) will offer many opportunities to get your flu shot at Michigan Medicine, including free flu clinics across the medical campus and a drive-thru clinic available on select Saturdays or Sundays in September and October. Make sure to have your ID badge when you arrive. Flu shot stickers will not be provided this year.

Registration will be required for all flu shot clinics to provide adequate social distancing and reducing large gatherings. A full list of clinic dates and links to register for each are available here.

Areas with clinical unit flu liaisons are strongly encouraged to utilize these staff members to help provide the vaccine to staff. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to alter our work environments, employees are also encouraged to utilize your doctor’s office, pharmacy or community flu shot resources.

If you receive your flu shot at any location outside of the OHS flu clinics, documentation must be provided, with the your name and UMID number on it, and sent directly to OHS via email to Flu-Occ-Health@med.umich.edu.

OHS will not provide walk-in or scheduled appointments in its Med Inn clinic for flu shots. The clinic will be reserved for COVID-19 vaccine administration and other occupational health needs and appointments. Please utilize one of the other options previously mentioned.

Those with a religious belief or medical condition that prevents you from receiving the flu vaccine may submit an exemption form for review by Nov. 1, 2021. These requests are annual and must be re-submitted each year for approval. If you received a medical or religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine, you will still need to submit an exemption request for the flu vaccine as they are two separate requests.

It is important to clarify that flu clinics will ONLY be offering flu vaccinations and will not include a COVID-19 vaccination, serology testing or any other COVID-19 related service. The flu vaccination does not include a COVID-19 vaccine. High dose influenza shots will also be available for those 65 years and older and may be requested by emailing email daisyv@umich.edu with the date and flu clinic location you register to attend. 

Later this year, the Infection Prevention & Epidemiology team will provide notification on the official start of flu season. Those employees who have not been vaccinated, but have an approved exemption or declination, will be required to wear a mask in patient care areas for the entire flu season, including if masks are no longer required due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about this year’s flu program, visit the Flu Prevention webpage.