Are You Ready for Flu Season?
It’s that time of year! Flu season…something nobody is looking forward to. As a provider, you are busy seeing patients and working to ensure patients have the best health outcomes, while recommending disease prevention measures such as the flu vaccine. We know that getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu and reduce the severity of illness if someone does get sick, however, patients are not always sold on getting the vaccine. I’m sure you have heard people say they got the flu shot and still got sick, so they won’t get the shot again. It is important to educate patients that the flu vaccine’s effectiveness varies season to season. It can depend on who is being vaccinated, including the age and health of the person. The correlation between the flu virus strains the vaccine is designed to protect against and the strains spreading in the community also plays a role. Recent studies have shown that flu shots are usually between 40% and 60% effective in any given year, even during severe seasons like 2017-2018.
The issue is not that the flu shot is ineffective, but that there are still many people who are not getting vaccinated. According to the the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), vaccination rates still fall well below target goals. We may not have a flu shot that is 100% effective, but it’s still our best defense against the flu.
A recent study published in Vaccine reinforces the effectiveness of the flu shot in reducing the severity of influenza. The CDC supported study was conducted during the 2012-2015 flu seasons and compared populations of vaccinated and unvaccinated adults. Click here for more information on this study.
Click here to discover how to use ImmuNet and the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP) to access immunization records.
Are you and your little ones ready for flu season? Check out the CDC’s new pup mascot, Ready Wrigley, in her fun and educational guide Ready Wrigley Prepares for Flu Season. Have your kids complete coloring pages, mazes, word searches and other activities all while learning about flu hygiene and prevention.
View updated recommendations and 2017-2018 influenza data with Home Health Quality Improvement’s (HHQI’s) 2018 Immunization & Infection Prevention Best Practice Intervention Package.« Return to the News