August 4, 2016

Get Ready for the 2016-2017 Flu Season!

 

LTC Picture

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP)
Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Influenza can be a serious health threat, especially for populations at high risk for flu-related complications, like adults 65 years and older, and people living with long-term disabilities and chronic health conditions. It is important for all long-term healthcare personnel to take necessary steps to protect themselves and their patients from the flu virus this season by getting a flu vaccine. Vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at high risk for complications from the flu. Flu vaccines are often updated to keep up with changing viruses and also immunity wanes over a year so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against influenza. People 65 years and older have two flu shots available to choose from – a regular dose flu vaccine and a newer flu vaccine designed specifically for people 65 and older with a higher dose. The high-dose vaccine is associated with a stronger immune response following vaccination.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have partnered to create an online toolkit to help administrators in long-term care facilities launch successful influenza vaccination programs among their staff as an integral part of their influenza infection prevention plans. This web-based toolkit provides a repository of actionable and useful resources including educational materials, easy to download campaign resources, recommended strategies, and a variety of guidance documents to help your facility do all it can to protect its staff and its residents from influenza infection. Please check out the toolkit at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/toolkit/long-term-care/ for more information.

Share your successes! Share your success stories of how your long-term care facility increased influenza vaccination rates by emailing fluinbox@cdc.gov with the subject line “LTC Best Practice.” Please be sure to include information regarding your facility type and location, barriers or challenges, effective methods used, and the results.