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Amid Flu Outbreak, SLU Hospital Requires Workers Have Vaccine

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Hospital-SLU

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - 148 new cases of influenza were reported in St. Charles County last week, bringing the county total to more than 1,100 this season. St. Louis and St. Louis County have both faced their own battles with the flu and, overall, the state of Missouri has seen more than 13,000 cases this winter.

If you do get sick and end up in an emergency room, a St. Louis University Hospital official says you can take solace in knowing nearly all hospital workers have already been given the flu vaccine.

Most hospitals in the St. Louis area have a mandatory flu shot policy; if you fail to comply you could lose your job. But St. Louis University Hospital spokesperson Laura Keller says there are exceptions for religious objections and allergy concerns.

“If you get excepted, certain we ask that the employee, when they’re in a clinical area working with patients, that they wear a mask to protect them either from receiving or transmitting the virus to the patient,” she said.

So far, Keller says no SLU Hospital employees have been dismissed due to a lack of compliance and nearly 98 percent of all workers receive the vaccine. “Fortunately, we have not been in a situation where we have had to ask an employee to quit because they haven’t been compliant. All of our employees have been compliant with our flu policy this year and they have in years past, as well.”

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