Preventing the flu: Good health habits can help stop germs


Seasonal influenza activity continues to grow across the United States and activity has been reported in Texas and neighboring states. Texas Children’s is already seeing confirmed flu cases among our patients and employees, and we anticipate flu activity to increase in the coming weeks.

Flu Vaccine participation update

As of December 17, Texas Children’s is at an 88.8 percent organization-wide vaccination rate. Although we are excited to see so much participation across the system, we still want to encourage employees to get vaccinated. It is not too late! Employee Health continues to administer flu vaccines at no cost to Texas Children’s employees. For additional information about receiving your flu vaccine at Texas Children’s, contact Employee Health at 832-824-2150 and select option 2.

If you elect to decline the flu vaccine this year, you are required to complete a 2018 Flu Declination Form. Prior to completing the declination form, review the Flu Vaccine Information Statement (VIS). The declination form can be found on the Employee Health and Wellness Portal. Follow these instructions to gain access:

  • Go to the Employee Health and Wellness Portal.
  • Proceed and log in. If this is your first time logging into the portal, please click “Having trouble logging in” to reset your password. For instructions on how to log in to the portal click here or click here to view step-by step instructions.
  • Once you log in, click on the “Forms” tab, then select the 2018 – Flu Declination Form.

As a reminder, staff who do not receive their flu vaccine should wear a surgical mask when providing direct patient care services for the duration of the flu season. See Required Influenza Vaccination Policy and Procedure for more details.

Prevent the Spread of Infection

In addition to being vaccinated against the flu, you can take steps every day to protect yourself, your colleagues and our patients and families from being infected this season by simply following good health habits:

  • Stay home when you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • If you begin to feel sick with flu-like symptoms while at work, please call the Employee Medical Clinic at 832-824-2424.
  • When possible, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home and at work, especially when someone is ill.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • For more tips on preventing the flu, visit CDC Flu Prevention.

“We are extremely grateful for the 12,500 employees who have already received their flu vaccine this season and want to encourage our remaining employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Julie Griffith, assistant director of Employee Health & Well-Being. “As flu season is gearing up, let’s amplify unity and prevent the spread of germs by practicing good health habits.”