Health Board Recommends Flu Shots for Health Care Workers

Action Not Required but Highly Suggested

By LINDA COMINS

Staff Writer

The Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health again is recommending that health care workers receive annual influenza immunization.

During a special meeting Tuesday, the board voted to recommend that health care workers in the county obtain flu shots.

Dr. John Holloway, board chairman, said the action is a recommendation, not a requirement.

Holloway said he spoke to officials of Ohio Valley Medical Center and Wheeling Hospital regarding the issue as it relates to their employees.

“They don’t feel they can require this at this time,” he said.

The measure calls for workers in health care facilities such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and physicians’ offices to receive flu shots by Nov. 1 of each year as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health care workers are encouraged to get flu shots to protect themselves and their patients from a potential outbreak of influenza.

Holloway said it will be up to an individual health care facility to address how — or if — it will implement the recommendation.

The board approved the same resolution last year.

At that time, administrator Howard Gamble said the county health board was the first in West Virginia to take this action.

Holloway has said that the American Hospital Association recommends flu shots for health care workers and the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians and American Academy of Pediatrics endorse the practice.

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