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Failure by health-care workers to get a flu vaccination to protect patients can get them fired. The state Board of Health rule approved in February has gone largely unnoticed by anyone but hospital administrators. Mercy Regional Medical Center has given employees until Dec. 15 to get a flu shot, even though the health board rule allows medical facilities until 2014 to have 90 percent of their personnel vaccinated against the flu.
“Our first job is to keep patients safe, Dr. John A.K. Boyd, chief medical officer at the hospital, said Friday. “We cannot accommodate religious or personal preferences.” Dr. Chris Urbina, chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the rule applies only to health-care workers who have contact with patients. “But I’d urge everyone to get a flu shot,” Urbina said. “Herd immunity means that the more people who get a vaccination, the more protection there is for everyone, not just patients.”
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