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2022-2023 flu season FAQs

Including how to decline/attest to a flu shot in MyChart and why badge rings aren’t required this year.

What is new for this flu season?

For the 2022-2023 flu season we continue to face additional challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that Asante requires face masks for all patient encounters, but this does not diminish the importance of protecting ourselves and our patients this flu season and getting an influenza vaccine.

This year’s deadline to be vaccinated or submit an attestation/declination to Asante Employee Health or through MyChart is Nov. 30.

If I have to wear a mask for COVID-19 is it still necessary to get a flu shot?

Yes. Vaccination is still the most effective way to protect yourself, your loved ones and our patients from influenza.

COVID-19 mask restrictions have been lifted in our communities, which means the chance of contracting influenza is expected to rise again.

In addition, Asante is required to report its vaccination rate to state health authorities. As a health system we are expected to meet employee immunization targets.

Where are masks required?

Employees, medical staff members, volunteers, students and contractors are expected to wear masks in all Asante hospitals, APP clinics, outpatient services and pharmacies or wherever they are likely to interact with patients. This includes inpatient units, outpatient clinics, registration areas, reception areas, waiting areas, and elevators and hallways used for patient transport. The only exception is Smullin Education Center, which is considered a public community facility. No masks are required in Smullin.

How will unvaccinated employees be identified?

In past years, Asante required badge rings to indicate vaccination status. With masking requirements still largely in place, badge rings have discontinued for the upcoming flu season.

All staff members are expected to do what’s right to protect their co-workers, our patients and others they encounter in our facilities and take proper precautions, including wearing a mask. Unvaccinated staff must wear a mask in places where patients are present or a simple mask in non-patient-care facilities. Masks are not required for unvaccinated staff in Smullin Education Center.

What do I need to do to prepare?

  • Get a flu shot early in the season before the community starts seeing cases of influenza. The vaccine is available at Asante Employee Health, pharmacies, Asante Urgent Care in Grants Pass and through your primary care provider.
  • Employees who receive a flu shot outside of Asante Employee Health must complete an influenza vaccination attestation in MyChart or submit an attestation form to Employee Health by Nov. 30.
  • Employees who decline the vaccine must file their declination form with Employee Health or in MyChart no later than Nov. 30.

How do I attest/decline the flu vaccination in MyChart?

Employees with MyChart accounts can complete a brief questionnaire, found under the Messages tab.

What if I don’t get a shot or submit my attestation/declination?

Employees who do not comply with the policy will be subject to written corrective action as they would if they fail to follow any Asante policy.

Isn’t employee immunization considered protected health information?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule applies only to patients’ personal health information. Requiring unvaccinated employees to wear masks in the workplace does not violate patient privacy — instead, it protects patients from potential exposure to the flu virus in our facilities.

What if I can’t get a flu shot?

Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of serious allergies or a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome must still submit a declination form by Nov. 30, must still wear a mask around patients and in patient care areas.

Is it safe to get a flu shot at the same time I get a COVID vaccine?

Yes, the CDC no longer recommends a waiting period between the different immunizations.

Can I get my COVID booster at Employee Health?

Employee Health does not offer COVID boosters, but you can get one through your Asante primary care office.

What if I decline the flu shot, but later change my mind?

As long as the vaccine is available, employees who previously declined vaccination may still be immunized.

We haven’t had a serious flu season in the past two years, why is vaccination still a requirement?

With COVID-19 mask restrictions lifted in our communities, the chance of contracting influenza is expected to rise again, according to forecasts from Oregon Health & Science University. As health care professionals we must ensure our patients, their families and our co-workers are safe from the flu.

In addition, Asante is required to report its vaccination rate to state health authorities. As a health system we are expected to meet employee immunization targets.

Where can I get a flu shot?

The vaccine is available at Asante Employee Health, Asante Pharmacy, APP primary care clinics and any retail pharmacy.

Questions? Email [email protected].

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