I hope we are not looking at Flu vaccine mandate as a “war” to be won to benefit patient care. Because it is a misplaced checklist issue since efficacy of the vaccine ranges from 20%-80% in the past 10 years. And that means we are missing a significant amount of respiratory infections each that are not Flu. Remember even if vaccinated it has been proven that people can still “colonize” themselves with the vaccine agent and spread it around by coughing or sneezing. Not to mention the significant ILI (influenza like illness) that are a majority of the respiratory infections every year. I have been a CDC sentinel site for influenza surveillance for 10 years and when we report weekly it COMBINES Flu and ILI in ONE basket that gets to the traditional “36,000” people die from Flu (including ILI but not differentiated in the statistic) each year. We need to demand more accurate information of this reported information, as there are many more respiratory infections causing morbidity in our staff and patients .
So I believe we should MANDATE “T Zone Awareness” for healthcare workers, facial mucus membranes (eyes, nose and mouth) as the ONLY portal of entry for ALL respiratory infections (and colonization) to staff regularly. This will help reduce infectious disease for all staff and protect patients both direct and indirectly by reducing staff infections. Since we all know most staff including physicians go to work sick (if anyone disagrees with that statement I wholeheartedly congratulate your HR dept on extreme vigilance on adhering to CDC guidelines).
Please start the T Zone Teaching Moment to continue for everyone to better understand how to TRULY benefit patient care.
This is the same conversation in schools and other workplaces.
Thank you for your concern to help “spread the word not the germs”!