11/25/2014 11:46 EST | Updated 01/25/2015 05:59 EST

Mandatory flu shot deadline looms for Vancouver Coastal Health workers

Just more than half of acute care workers with Vancouver Coastal Health have reported getting a flu shot this fall, despite regulations making the shots or a face mask mandatory for health care workers.

So far this season 56 per cent of workers have reported getting a flu shot, but VCH says it will push hard this week to get workers to comply or begin wearing a face mask by the Dec. 1 deadline.

Medical health officer Dr. Meena Dawar says that includes sending out letters and having managers wear superhero costumes around hospitals.

"It doesn't take much to save a life. We can really be immunized and we can all be superheroes," says Dawar.

"I think last year we were about 80 per cent, so we've got a way to go this week."

In 2012, the provincial government made it mandatory for health care workers to get immunized or wear a face mask at work. Since then, only one nurse, from Interior Health, has been fired for non-compliance.

Last flu season 75 per cent of health care workers across B.C. got the shot. The remaining 25 per cent choose to wear a mask, including hospital workers who don't treat patients.