UCSF Medical Center to Kick Off ‘Fight Flu’ Campaign
Campus and medical center leadership volunteer to get vaccinated during a cowboy-themed "Flu Shot Roundup" event held at Cole Hall on Oct. 2. From left to right, School of Nursing Dean David Vlahov, UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret, School of Pharmacy Dean B. Joesph Gugleilmo, Chancellor Sam Hawgood, and UCSF Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Shelia Antrum.
Campus and medical center leadership rolled up their sleeves to kick off flu vaccination season at UC San Francisco.
UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS; UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret; UCSF Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Sheila Antrum, RN, MSHA; School of Nursing Dean David Vlahov, RN, PhD; and School of Pharmacy Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, were among the first to get vaccinated at a cowboy-themed “Flu Shot Roundup” event held Oct. 2 at Cole Hall, where many donned Western bandanas.
“Getting a flu shot is a simple, important preventive step for each and every employee,” Laret said. “But it’s also important to ensure that we will have healthy employees throughout the flu season to care for the thousands of patients who are counting on us to be here when they need us.”
Chancellor Sam Hawgood and Chief Nursing Officer Sheila Antrum prepare themselves for their flu shots.
To protect the greater UCSF community, including patients and their families, UCSF has launched a campaign called “Fight Flu.”
“We are striving to assure that 100 percent of our employees are vaccinated and as many of our hospitalized patients and primary care patients qualify for a vaccine,” said Adrienne Green, MD, associate chief medical officer at UCSF Medical Center. “We will be tracking our rates weekly and are providing a variety of messaging and reminders for employees and patients.”
School of Pharmacy Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo rolls up his sleeve as a nurse prepares his vaccination.
UCSF will offer all faculty, staff, students, trainees and volunteers who have a UCSF identification badge a free flu shot to reduce the transmission of influenza. The flu vaccine drop-in clinics will be offered from Oct. 6 through Nov. 7.
They will be held at various UCSF locations including: Parnassus, Mount Zion, Mission Bay, Mission Center Building, Laurel Heights, China Basin, Executive Park and 3360 Geary.
“Getting a flu shot is all about protecting those most vulnerable such as our families and patients from harm and ensuring a ‘safe’ environment for all employees to work,” Antrum said.
Flu activity typically peaks in the U.S. between December and February, but it can begin as early as October and continue as late as May, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and, for a small percentage of the population, can lead to death. The most effective way to prevent infection from an influenza virus is through annual flu vaccination, according to the CDC.
“It’s critical to reduce the risk of influenza at this particular time in history,” Hawgood said. “Pandemics are clearly on people's minds right now and the real threat that they can cause is very self-evident. It’s important to get vaccinated.”
School of Nursing Dean David Vlahov and UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret share a laugh after getting vaccinated.
UCSF’s annual influenza program is intended to make it easier for members of the UCSF community to comply with the University’s flu vaccine policy. Flu vaccination protects staff, patients, and the integrity of the UCSF workforce.
The UCSF flu shot policy requires that all UCSF Medical Center employees and those who enter the hospitals and clinics be vaccinated for the seasonal flu.
As required by state law, anyone who declines a flu shot must sign a declaration form and wear a hospital-supplied mask while in areas where patients are seen, evaluated and treated. Declination forms will be available in mid-November on the UCSF Occupational Health website.
“It is impossible to determine who will have vaccine side effects unless you are in of the high risk populations listed by the CDC and we do our best to educate our staff, appropriate patients and families so they are well informed with the facts,” Antrum said. “When in doubt the best advice is to contact your primary provider.”
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
For more information about UCSF’s drop-in flu shot clinics schedule, click here.
Photos by Susan Merrell
Members of the leadership team pose for a photograph with some of the organizers of the western-themed "Flu Shot Roundup" event held at Cole Hall on Oct. 2.