Caption: Nurses Deborah Boyce and Mimi Vasquez and Nurse Manager Vorsha Sherfield–aka Rikke‘s Angels–were ready for the Flu Fest vaccination event.
A record 57 staff members received free flu vaccinations on October 10 during the annual Flu Fest hosted by the La Hacienda Nursing Department.
The mass immunization in the Upper Dining Room featured refreshments, door prizes, and information on the vaccinations. Participating employees were also entered for a grand prize drawing at the end of the year.
Those employees not yet vaccinated may still receive them by going to the medication window in the Special Care Unit during non-peak hours.
“The mass vaccination is convenient for the employees. We hope that they will stay healthy during the flu season,” said Nurse Administrator Rikke Sorensen.
La Hacienda typically does not have a lot of issues with sick employees during the flu season, she added.
For Self and Family
Among those receiving vaccinations was Case Manager Justin Rumbo, who said that every time he has had the flu shot, he’s never become sick. “And I have two daughters and a wife, so it’s probably three times the flu if I get sick.”
Egg allergies—once a key reason some did not get the vaccine–is not as big an issue now.
“Even though I’m allergic to eggs, I can take the vaccine because that sensitivity is no longer relevant,” said Nurse Manager Vorsha Sherfield.
The vaccine is still made with a protein similar to that in eggs, said Rikke, but sensitivity to it is relatively insignificant.
Vaccination’s Documented Benefits
The Joint Commission, which certifies La Hacienda and other healthcare providers, requires that all accredited organizations establish annual influenza vaccination programs for all employees. It does not, however, state that they offer the vaccinations for free to staff as La Hacienda does.
In addition to fewer cases of the flu, documented benefits from flu vaccination programs include positive patient outcomes and reduced staff absenteeism, according to The Joint Commission.
The Center for Disease Control says that vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu, and their close contacts. It recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older.