Flu season is coming: Learn about organization’s vaccination policy to keep the community safe

August 31, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Approximately a 5-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • The organization’s Influenza Vaccination Policy (04-06-030) requires all faculty, staff, learners and volunteers to be compliant with the policy by Dec. 1, 2022.
  • There are three ways in which employees can receive their flu vaccine: department flu liaisons, OHS flu clinics and at other locations in the community.
  • Employees requesting a new medical or religious exemption for the influenza vaccine must submit by Nov. 1, 2022. If you received an exemption in 2021, you do not have to resubmit this year.

As flu season approaches, everyone has a role to play to keep patients, families and colleagues as safe as possible.

The organization’s Influenza Vaccination Policy (04-06-030) requires all faculty, staff, learners and volunteers to be compliant with the policy by Dec. 1, 2022. This includes all employees who may be working remotely.

Members of AFSCME, BMETs of the Skilled Trades Union, IUOE, UPAMM and MNA/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.

Flu stickers for employee badges will not be provided this year.

Where to get a flu vaccine

This year, there are three ways in which employees can receive their flu vaccine, offering more flexibility to choose the option that is easiest for them. More information on each option is included below:

Department flu liaisons will be available to administer the flu vaccine to department/unit employees, as well as those support services that frequent the unit. This method of distribution is strongly encouraged for those departments with flu liaisons.

Employees who receive their vaccine from a department flu liaison do not need to submit proof to Occupational Health Services (OHS) through Health Rx.

OHS flu clinics will be held at various places within the hospitals and other offsite locations. In addition to the standard influenza vaccine; the high-dose influenza vaccine (for 65 years and older); FluBlok influenza vaccine (egg-free); and the FluMist (for 49 years and under) are available from OHS.

See the OHS website for more information. Click here to schedule an appointment at an OHS flu clinic. Employees who receive their vaccine from an OHS clinic do not need to submit proof to OHS through Health Rx. The OHS clinic at Med Inn will not be available for walk-in influenza vaccine appointments.

Other locationssuch as primary care provider offices (including Michigan Medicine), pharmacies, and other vaccination clinics outside of the above mentioned are permitted.

Upload external documentation

Employees who receive their influenza vaccine from other locations will need to follow a new process this year and directly upload their external flu proof documentation into the OHS Health Rx Compliance Portal for review and approval. Upload instructions are available here.

Documentation from the vaccine provider must include employee name, indicate influenza vaccine and the date it was administered.This is a new and timely method to submit vaccination documentation, thank you in advance for your participation.

Employees unable to upload their flu documentation into Health Rx have the option of emailing proof to OHS via email at FLU-OCC-HEALTH@med.umich.edu. Email submissions are NOT the preferred method and should only be utilized if unable to upload directly into Health Rx. Documentation must include employee name, employee UMID number, indicate influenza vaccine and the date it was administered.

Requesting an exemption

Employees requesting a new medical or religious exemption for the influenza vaccine must submit by Nov. 1, 2022, for the committee to review and provide an outcome before the Dec. 1, 2022, deadline. Exemption requests for the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are separate. In addition, the criteria for medical exemptions is different for the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines. Employees with an approved exemption but choosing to receive the influenza vaccine this year, can do so through any of the three methods described above.

  • Previous Medical Exemptions: Employees who have previously received an approved medical exemption do not need to resubmit; medical exemptions will be carried over from last year.
  • Previous Religious Exemptions: Employees who received an approved religious exemption for the influenza vaccine in 2021, do NOT need to resubmit an exemption request in 2022. Religious exemptions will be valid for two years.

The Infection Prevention and Epidemiology team will provide notification on the official start of the flu season. Those employees who have not been vaccinated but have an approved exemption or declination (for UMPNC employees) 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.

More information is available on the OHS website including a link to schedule an appointment at an OHS flu clinic. Additional clinics will be added throughout the flu season and communications will be made available. If your department or building would like to host a flu clinic, please complete the flu clinic request form to inquire about availability.

RELATED STORIES