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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 27, 2005

NOTE TO EDITORS: This is a drill that UI Hospitals and Clinics is conducting to immunize hospital staff against influenza.

UI Hospitals And Clinics Immunizing Patient Care Providers

Faculty and staff who provide direct patient care to patients at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will receive influenza vaccinations (flu shots) Oct. 26-31 during a special exercise designed to boost immunization rates among health care workers.

An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce influenza infections. Studies show that it is more common for health care workers to transmit the influenza virus to patients than it is for patients to infect health care workers or other patients. Flu shots help reduce the risk that health care workers will infect their families, patients and coworkers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that health care workers who provide direct patient care receive annual influenza vaccinations.

Studies show that healthy adults can infect others with the flu up to one day before they start having symptoms. Once sick, they can infect others for up to five days. Because the type of influenza strain differs from year to year, it is important to receive the flu vaccine every year.

This year at UI Hospitals and Clinics, the influenza vaccination effort for staff, faculty and volunteers will occur in two phases.

--Phase 1: Oct. 26-31

A drill during this time period will attempt to rapidly vaccinate health care workers efficiently, without disrupting clinical care. During these six days, faculty, staff and volunteers who provide direct patient care or routinely have close contact with patients (within three feet) should receive their flu shots. 

--Phase 2: Nov. 1-14

The University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) will offer flu shots free of charge to all other staff, faculty and volunteers.

Flu shots will also continue to be available to all patients who face a higher risk from influenza.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.