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Allina Health will now require all workers get the flu vaccine

The new rule will be enacted before the 2020-21 flu season.

Allina Health has announced that all of its staff and volunteers will be required to get a flu shot every influenza season.

The move was revealed Thursday, with Allina saying beginning with the 2021-22 flu season, all "employees, students, contracted staff and volunteers, must receive the influenza vaccination," with some "limited exemptions."

Minnesota experienced minimal serious influenza cases in the 2020-21 season, following a winter in which COVID-19 was dominant, with people taking precautions such as social distancing and mask wearing that can limit the spread of the flu – which is less transmissible than COVID.

But there have been warnings that flu could see a resurgence in 2021-22, particularly if people loosen their observance of social distancing and mask-wearing in crowds.

Allina is taking no chances, making the flu shots mandatory for workers who have a higher risk of being exposed to the virus, saying: "Getting the influenza vaccine is the first and best way to reduce the chance of getting influenza.

"Health care workers are at a higher risk of exposure to influenza. By being immunized we’re helping protect our team, our patients, and our ability to care for the communities we serve."

The healthcare provider says that companies that make flu shots mandatory have seen "dramatic reductions in employee absenteeism and healthcare associated influenza, improved patient safety and reduced healthcare costs."

Despite making flu shots mandatory for staff and volunteers, Allina isn't doing the same with the COVID-19 vaccine.

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