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School of Medicine's new dean on the importance of health-care workers getting flu shots

Fall is almost here, which means it's time to start thinking about taking measures to protect yourself against seasonal influenza. One of the best ways to do this is to schedule a flu shot.

In a new Q&A on Be Well @ Stanford, Lloyd B. Minor, MD, incoming dean of the School of Medicine, discusses the importance of getting vaccinated. And here he talks about why it's particularly crucial for health-care workers to get their shots:

We know from a large number of studies that we significantly reduce the risk of infection transmission to our patients when we have a vaccinated and immunized population of workers — and that means faculty, medical students, residents, nurses and staff who work with our patients. There have been a number of studies done and the evidence is incontrovertible: those health care organizations that achieve a very high level of vaccination — and it takes a high level because influenza spreads so rapidly and so easily from one person to another — have better outcomes.

At Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, we treat very ill patients. We are commonly treating immune-compromised patients who are at risk of an adverse outcome should they contract influenza. Because we have evidence that an immunized health care workforce prevents the transmission of infections like influenza, we are obligated to do what we can and should be doing to protect our patients and ensure the best outcomes for them.

Previously: Flu shots for moms may help prevent babies from being born too small, Public health experts: Now’s the time to get flu shot and European experts debunk six myths about flu shot
Photo by emma_brown

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