During This Flu Season, Let’s Protect Our Patients and Residents

November 30, 2016
Navigating PALTC

For the month of December only, take 20% off of Immunizations in the Long-Term Care Setting and Influenza Immunization and the Health Care Worker (DVD). Use code 122016 at checkout.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Adults 65 and older and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are two groups at a high risk for developing flu-related complications.

The flu can be introduced into a post-acute and long-term care facility by newly admitted residents, health care workers, and visitors. Though residents should receive a vaccination prior to the start of flu season, which is now past, it’s important to make sure new patients or residents are vaccinated before they are admitted.

Vaccination of health care workers against the flu has been shown to protect patients by potentially reducing illness and decreasing mortality by as much as 40%, independent of patient vaccination status. We encourage all health care workers to get this year’s flu vaccine to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the safety of their patients and residents. These health care workers include physicians, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, staff who may visit but not be employed by the facility - such as housekeeping and billing personnel – volunteers, and any others who enter the facility.

AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine recommends that medical directors and other practitioners encourage caregivers – both health care workers and family caregivers – to get vaccinated. We recommend that these vaccinations be made available and offered at no cost to all staff working in PALTC settings. For family caregivers – flu shots are easily accessible at your primary care physician’s office, major drug stores, and even in many grocery story pharmacies. Many insurance companies fully cover the cost of the vaccine. Health care facilities and professionals, as well as family caregivers, can find helpful information and guidance at www.cdc.gov/flu. This flu season, let’s make every effort to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our residents and patients.