Flu vaccination deadline is December 6

The deadline for receiving a flu vaccine or completing a waiver is December 6, 2017.

As a reminder, SMPH employees may scan and email documentation of the vaccine or waiver to SMPHFlu@med.wisc.edu, fax it to Dean’s Office Human Resources at (608) 262-9515, or mail it to Dean’s Office Human Resources, Health Sciences Learning Center, Room 4150 – Attn: Flu, 750 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705.

The CDC has recommended for several years annual influenza vaccination of all health care professionals and persons in training for health-care professions, including physicians, nurses, other workers in both hospital and outpatient-care settings, and students in these professions who will have contact with patients. The CDC considers annual vaccination one measure of a patient safety quality program and, as such, endorses a coverage goal of 100 percent of employees who do not have a medical contraindication, or a religious or personal conviction/belief exemption.

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), as part of UW Health, is committed to being a national leader in health care. To ensure the highest quality of care, all staff and providers need to be effective role models for our patients. For these reasons, all SMPH staff and faculty, students, both part-time and full-time, including temporary employees, are required to receive an influenza vaccination, or to complete and submit a medical, religious, or personal conviction/belief waiver. Additionally, all volunteers who regularly work in UW Health facilities, contract employees, medical students and students on clinical rotation in UW Health facilities, and other affiliated individuals, are required to receive an influenza vaccination or to complete and submit the appropriate waiver. Please refer to the UW Health influenza vaccine policy (shared policy with UWSMPH, UWMF and UWHC) for further information.

SMPH staff, faculty, and students may choose to receive the vaccine from their own health provider, campus flu clinics, or other community based flu vaccination programs, but must provide documentation of the vaccine, or the appropriate waiver, to the SMPH Dean’s Office Human Resources Department, via:

  • Email: SMPHFlu@med.wisc.edu
  • FAX: (608) 262-9515
  • Mail: Dean’s Office Human Resources, Health Sciences Learning Center, Room 4150 – Attn: Flu, 750 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705

by a date (the deadline) that is established by UW Health Employee Health Service at the beginning of the flu vaccine season. This year’s deadline to receive an influenza vaccination is Friday, December 6, 2017.

Information on campus flu clinics can be found from the University Health Services flu information web page. No appointment is needed to attend any of the flu shot clinics. Bring your health insurance card to the flu clinic. For employees with Dean Care, Physicians Plus, Group Health Cooperative or Unity, flu shots are administered at no charge if you present your insurance card. Without an insurance card, the charge is $31 for the flu shot, and $33 for the FluMist payable by cash, check, Visa or MasterCard.  No appointment is needed to attend these clinics.  If you do not have health insurance and are unable to afford the vaccine, please contact the SMPH Dean’s Office Human Resources (contact information provided above).

By December 6, 2017, employees must send either a copy of a completed flu shot form received at a UW campus flu clinic, a printout from your provider’s online medical record (such as UW Health My Chart), or a printout from the online Wisconsin Immunization Registry that includes (1) the employee’s name; (2) proof that the employee received the vaccination; and, if possible, (3) the employee’s Campus ID number (the ID number may be handwritten legibly on the printout).

Only those with a completed and valid medical waiver for a medical contraindication (pdf) or religious or personal conviction/belief waiver (pdf) will be exempt from receiving the vaccine. New waivers must be submitted by the deadline of December 6, 2017. Waivers will be considered confidential medical information and not shared with departments or supervisors. Employees who are exempt from receiving a vaccine should wear a mask when within three (3) feet of patients in patient care areas during influenza season, typically between September and May (specific information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be found by clicking the “Seasonal Influenza (Flu)” link below.

Please note that waivers do not need to be completed annually – SMPH keeps a record of existing waivers. However, if an employee chooses to receive a flu vaccine after completing a medical waiver, he or she must submit provider documentation that the vaccine is safe for the employee. In addition, religious or personal conviction/belief waivers do not need to be completed annually unless a new policy or waiver form is implemented. However, if an employee chooses to receive a flu vaccine after completing a waiver, this action voids any previously-submitted waiver going forward.

Individuals who do not receive a vaccination or have a valid waiver on file by the deadline of December 6, 2017, will be considered out of compliance with the UW Health Influenza Vaccine Policy and will be referred to the SMPH Associate Dean for Human Resources, Equity and Inclusion. Falsification of waivers may be cause for discipline, up to and including termination.

SMPH is joining multiple other healthcare organizations, both locally and nationally, in this quality, safety initiative with the intent of protecting patients and staff and supporting the commitment to preventive health.

Please direct questions to SMPHFlu@med.wisc.edu. For further information regarding the flu vaccine, please visit the sites below from the CDC.

Related influenza information and forms