FLU VACCINES ADMINISTERED IN NV THIS SEASON54,585

Healthcare Professionals Toolkit

Chances are that Patient Zero is in your building right now.

You know, Patient Zero: the first person in your organization to contract the flu. The one who could unknowingly give it to your patients or members of your staff.

The one who could even die, because flu can and does kill people, especially children and older adults.

You work tirelessly to protect the health of your patients. Your strong recommendation for the flu vaccine is important, as well as healthcare workers leading by example by getting vaccinated against the flu.

As you know, seasonal influenza or the “flu” is more than just a bad cold. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death and illness from a vaccine-preventable disease in the United States. According to the CDC:

  • Children commonly need medical care because of influenza, especially before they turn 5 years old.
  • Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old.
  • Annually, an average of 20,000 children under 5 are hospitalized because of flu complications.
  • More than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized and thousands die every year from the influenza virus.
  • Flu causes 38 million lost school days and 111 million lost workdays a year, resulting in more than $7 billion in lost wages.
  • The median age of children who died from the flu virus during the 2015-16 flu season was 6 years old.

The flu can also be highly dangerous to people in our community who are not able to get the flu vaccine, namely the very young, the immunocompromised and the very old.

Studies have shown that a strong healthcare provider recommendation is the most effective way to convince people to get the flu vaccine. While the CDC recommends the flu vaccine as the best way to protect against the flu, only 1 out of 3 Nevadans actually get it. Use the SHARE approach:

  • SHARE the reasons why the influenza vaccine is right for the patient given their age, health status, lifestyle, occupation, or other risk factors.
  • HIGHLIGHT positive experiences with influenza vaccines (personal or in your practice), as appropriate, to reinforce the benefits and strengthen confidence in influenza vaccination.
  • ADDRESS patient questions and any concerns about the influenza vaccine, including side effects, safety, and vaccine effectiveness in plain and understandable language.
  • REMIND patients that influenza vaccines protect them and their loved ones from serious influenza illness and influenza-related complications.
  • EXPLAIN the potential costs of getting influenza, including serious health effects, time lost (such as missing work or family obligations), and financial costs.

It is of utmost importance for healthcare providers to get the flu vaccine due to your critical role in patient health. Not only are you highly likely to come in to contact with patients infected with the flu, but you could also spread the flu to your patients, as a person can be contagious for 24 hours before symptoms are noticed.

Below is a virtual toolkit of materials for use within your organization: 

Please give us a call at 775-624-7117 or email info@immunizenevada.org if you have any additional questions. Thank you for your help keeping Nevada healthy!