Sadly, we are beginning to see summer coming to an end, evenings are getting cooler, it is still dark when we get up in the morning and yes, the dreaded flu season is just around the corner! Considering we are still in the midst of a global pandemic it hardly seems fair that we are going to be challenged yet again! The good news is that the CDC is on top of it and has already published information regarding the 2020-2021 flu season. Have you had an opportunity to review it yet?
In summary, the basics haven’t changed. All persons aged 6 months and older who do not have contraindications, should be vaccinated annually. However, with the COVID-19 Pandemic there are important recommendations in the COCA slides so be sure to review them! Remember, vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe illness and complications from influenza and for influenza-related outpatient, emergency department, or hospital visits. When vaccine supply is limited, vaccination efforts should focus on delivering vaccination to persons at higher risk for medical complications attributable to severe influenza who do not have contraindications.
“In addition to persons at higher risk for medical complications attributable to severe influenza, emphasis should also be placed on vaccination of persons who live with or care for those who are at increased risk. When vaccine supply is limited, vaccination efforts should focus on delivering vaccination to persons at higher risk for influenza-related complications as well as persons who live with or care for such persons.”
It might be time to take a look at your current policy for influenza vaccinations, review your consent forms, educate and discuss the pros and cons of receiving/declining the vaccine with residents, families, and staff. Prior to administering the vaccine be sure to have a signed consent on file and as always, stay well, stay safe, and stay tuned!