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Employee Seasonal Flu Vaccine Rate

Influenza (flu) facts

The flu is a viral illness that usually begins with the sudden onset of fever and is often associated with chills, headache, muscle pain, and cough. The flu virus spreads by droplets released from an infected person by sneezing, coughing, and even talking. An infected person can begin to spread the flu to others 24 hours before they start to feel sick themselves. On average, a person will develop symptoms of the flu within 2 days of being exposed to an infected person (range 1-4 days). According to the CDC, an average of 200,000 persons in the U.S. are hospitalized with flu yearly. Last flu season, 110 children died of flu-associated illnesses. Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. Flu vaccine is approved for those ≥ 6 months of age. Infants < 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated. The best way to protect infants too young to receive flu vaccine is for those around them to be vaccinated (known as the “cocooning effect”).

Our commitment in preventing flu

The Centers for Disease Prevention & Control (CDC) has recommended yearly flu vaccine for health care workers since the 1980’s. Children's Mercy shows its commitment to patient safety by vaccinating its employees each year against the flu. This helps to protect our patients and families from exposure to the flu virus while at the hospital.  For the last several years our employee flu vaccine rate has been ≥ 99.6%, well above the national average of flu vaccine rates in health care workers (see chart).

Who is impacted?

Everyone. The more Children's Mercy employees who receive the vaccine, the less chance we will spread the flu to our patients, their families, or other employees.

To learn more about the flu:

  1. Visit the CDC's Free Flu Resources page to learn more about the influenza virus.

  2. Read the Academy of Pediatrics Policy on Flu Vaccine for Healthcare Workers. Pediatrics 2010, 126:809-815

  3. Visit or to learn more from the Immunization Action Coalition.

Pediatric deaths: