CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A company that runs four hospitals in The Charlotte area says it will require health care workers to get flu shots.

The Charlotte Observer reported ( that Novant Health of Winston-Salem says all employees, doctors, volunteers and vendors must get flu shots unless they get an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

Novant chief medical officer Dr. Stephen Wallenhaupt says requiring the shots will improve the health of patients, employees and the community.

Wallenhaupt says 82 percent of the company's workers got the vaccination last year, without it being required.

Charlotte's other hospital system, Carolinas HealthCare System, does not require flu vaccinations. It does recommend that health workers get flu shots.

Carolinas HealthCare spokesman Kevin McCarthy says a panel of medical professionals is expected to make a recommendation in August.


Information from: The Charlotte Observer,