New health regulations no concern for Community Hospital

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Colorado is implementing health regulations that will soon require all doctors to get the flu shot or, for some, risk losing their job.

For Community Hospital, they feel that will not be an issue.

"Traditionally we don't start pushing vaccinations until October," said Debbie Riggle of Community Hospital, "so with the fact that we are already 50 percent done, I am very pleased."

This year the regulation requires 60 percent of health care workers to get the vaccination. Next year it will be 75 percent, and by 2014 the requirement will reach 90 percent.

"It's very important to know that if you're going to be giving my child a shot, that you're taking care of your own health," said Barbara Nelson who just got a flu shot.

She, like many others, feel this regulation is a huge step in keeping sickness to a minimum. Luckily, many doctors in the area have already cleared the test.

"I get my flu shot every year," said family practice physician Dr. Charles Nowak, "so I don't have that risk of contaminating my patients or taking it home to my family."

Dr. Nowak knows the great risks involved with the flu. It's not just exhaustion, aching or fever.

"The flu does kill people every year," he said. "So it's important that you take precaution and prevent it."

For those unable to take the vaccine due to health reasons, they are required to wear masks while interacting with patients during flu season.

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