Updates for the 2019/2020 flu season are coming shortly.

A Message from VUMC Executive Leadership

Vanderbilt University Medical Center leadership recently approved updates to the VUMC Immunization Policy for Faculty and Staff. The updates, adopted in June, are intended to protect the health of all patients and their family members, coworkers, and the greater Vanderbilt community. 

All VUMC faculty and staff must receive an annual influenza vaccination or be exempted from vaccination by December 3, 2018.

We know from past experience that the overwhelming majority of team members embrace the influenza vaccination requirement and become compliant. However, VUMC faculty or staff members who remain non-compliant with the policy requirements after December 3, 2018, may no longer be allowed to perform their normal responsibilities and may face disciplinary action. 

VUMC staff members who remain non-compliant with the policy requirements after December 3, 2018, will be placed on unpaid leave. These employees may return to work on April 1 (the end of flu season) or once influenza vaccination is documented, whichever is sooner.

VUMC faculty members (clinical and non-clinical) who remain non-compliant with the policy requirements after December 3, 2018, will lose access to all VUMC systems that require a VUNet ID. Access will be restored on April 1, 2019, (the end of flu season) or once influenza vaccination is documented, whichever is sooner.

Influenza vaccination exemption requests must be submitted here by October 1, 2018. An exemption may be requested for: 1) a medical reason or severe allergy to a vaccine component or 2) a deeply held religious or spiritual belief. During flu season, those with approved exemptions from influenza vaccination will have the ability to work by wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth while in patient care areas (both procedural and diagnostic). Masks are already available on all units.

The Medical Center’s leadership has reviewed current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with best practices for employee vaccinations at other leading health systems, and we are committed to this decision. In addition, The American Nursing Association recently announced its support of mandatory influenza requirements for all health care personnel, and the National Patient Safety Foundation named influenza vaccination of all team members as a "must do" practice to ensure patient safety.

These changes are an important step to ensuring the safety of our community. We thank you for everything you do to make medicine kinder and safer.

Sincerely,

Marilyn Dubree
Executive Chief Nursing Officer

Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D.
Chief Medical Officer for the Vanderbilt Medical Group
Chief Patient Experience and Service Officer