RALEIGH A one-day flu vaccination blitz for health care workers that began at Duke University Heath System last year is now an annual event, spreading to more than a dozen clinics and hospitals across the Triangle.
The 24-hour mass vaccination for the coming flu season began Wednesday morning with two goals: to inoculate as many of the more than 15,000 health care workers as possible, and to practice the regional response to a pandemic. Emergency response teams simulated deliveries of vaccine Tuesday from the state’s strategic stockpile.
Having high rates of vaccination among doctors, nurses and other hospital workers is critical, because they can easily transmit flu to patients who are vulnerable to complications from illness. That includes those with asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease, pregnant women, children younger than 5 years old and adults 65 and older.
The blitz gives hospitals and clinics a chance to practice the logistics involved in obtaining the vaccine, smoothly distributing it and then getting workers injected, Butler said.
It’s crucial in an emergency to be able to quickly inoculate front-line health care workers so they can remain healthy to help the rest of the population.