Ask Dr. Jake about H1N1 Planning, Testing and Guidelines in the Workplace

Some people follow Dr. Oz, but we follow Dr. Jake, Medical Director at Broadspire… who has great insight into workplace injuries, illnesses and prevention.

Chief medical officer for Broadspire, Dr. Jacob Lazarovic with over 25 years of experience, is one of the most respected physicians in the workers’ compensation medical community. At a recent webinar, Dr. Jake answered questions about the H1N1 virus and suggested ways to create a corporate pandemic plan and Broadspire’s client resources.
  

Q: Has the H1N1 vaccine been adequately tested?
DR. JAKE
: While there are fears that it has been rushed to market, these fears are unfounded. The H1N1 vaccine received the same levels of rigorous testing as the regular flu vaccine and is manufactured using exactly the same processes. Data from the CDC to date shows that there is no significant reporting of adverse effects from the H1N1 flu vaccine. Had the testing been completed sooner – the H1N1 vaccine could have been included in the seasonal flu shot. People should not have any fear of receiving the H1N1 flu vaccine.

Q: Is there a guideline or requirement to give an employee a specific number of hours or days off from work after receiving the H1N1 flu vaccine?
DR. JAKE
: The answer is no. Because you do not get the flu from the flu vaccine, there is no need to take time off from work after receiving the vaccine. That being said – if a person does receive the nasal form of the flu vaccine, they need to avoid close contact with people who have severely compromised immune systems. The period should last for the next 7 days after receiving the vaccine.

Q: How do I know if an employee who gets H1N1 got it in the course of their employment, or if they can file a workers compensation claim?
DR. JAKE
: The rules and laws of each state are different. In general, H1N1 should not be handled any differently than any other flu-like illness with respect to compensability. There would need to be specific work-related exposures that exceed the risk of the general population with respect to contracting the illness. You should consult with your claim team manager or Account Executive to determine the best course of action.

Q: Is there a national state of emergency for H1N1 and how will it impact the delivery of the vaccine?
DR. JAKE
: Subsequent to the Broadspire presentations, President Obama declared a national state of emergency regarding H1N1. This has enabled hospitals, county health departments, and other health care providers to speed up the delivery of the vaccine to priority populations. Supply is catching up to demand and most jurisdictions are moving from providing the vaccines only to high-priority populations to allowing general availability.  
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The full presentation  is available at  http://www.choosebroadspire.com/pdfs/H1N1.pdf.
 
Author Jacob Lazarovic, Chief Medical Officer can be contacted at: AskDrJake@chooseBroadspire.com
 
©2010 Broadspire Services, Inc.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers' comp issues.

 
©2009 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

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