Explore resources and toolkits designed to help you combat influenza among your patients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a recent increase in influenza (flu) outbreaks. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a concern, some patients may not be aware of the importance of getting their annual flu vaccine. Influenza can be a serious disease for anyone, leading to hospitalization and sometimes death particularly for people with certain medical conditions including chronic lung disease, asthma and diabetes; pregnant women; people who care for infants; individuals aged 65 and older; and children age 5 and younger. Millions of people get the flu every year and the flu viruses can affect people differently. Experts warn that there may be a rise in flu rates this year with the reduced use of masks, less social distancing, and individuals not prioritizing the flu vaccinations.
The flu vaccine continues to be the best way to prevent the spread of the flu and widespread flu illnesses. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that everyone age 6 months or older receive a flu shot. The recommendations also indicate that the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered at the same time. If a person is eligible for both vaccines, giving the vaccines in one visit increases the likelihood that people will say updated on their vaccinations. Two different injection sites at least one inch apart are recommended.
Anyone who has not received a flu vaccine this season should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Many patients who get an annual flu vaccination find that it prevents them from contracting the flu, while some people who get a flu vaccine may still get sick but are far less likely to have severe illness and require hospitalization.
Osteopathic physicians and the entire practice team play a key role in preventing influenza infections among patients and communities. The resources below provide the most recent influenza recommendations, resources, educational materials and tools to assist osteopathic physicians and their teams in promoting flu vaccinations and other prevention measures. In addition, you’ll find important information on addressing flu vaccine hesitancy and misperceptions and tips for preparing your practice team to contribute toward reducing spread of the flu.