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Afraid of needles? Never had the flu? You still need vaccination!

November 18, 2011

Premier Safety Institute - Safety Share Newsletter

Bulletin brought to you by the Premier Safety

Afraid of needles? Never had the flu? You still need vaccination!

Lots of good news!

  • Early reports show that this year’s flu vaccine will provide good protection because it is matched very well to the circulating viruses.
  • There is more flu vaccine this year than ever
    before – nearly 173 million doses.
  • This season, there are more options to choose from:
    • The “flu shot” (made with killed virus) – there are three different flu shots available:
      • a regular flu shot for ages 6 months
        and older, 
      • a high-dose flu shot for 65 and
        older, and
      • the new intradermal flu shot (with a
        tiny needle) for ages 18 to 64 years.
    • The “nasal-spray” flu vaccine, made with live, weakened flu viruses (sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine”) and it does not cause the flu:
      • Nasal spray for ages 2 through 49 and who are not pregnant (good for folks afraid of needles).

You can infect others without symptoms!
Anyone may be able to pass the flu to someone else before they are sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms and still spread the virus to others.

CDC urges flu vaccine for everyone

The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the best way to protect against influenza. Annual vaccination is needed because flu vaccine immunity declines over the year.

Healthcare staff vaccination – a patient safety imperative

  • Although vaccination rates are a bit higher in hospitals, sadly, only an estimated 62 percent of all healthcare staff received influenza vaccination in the last two flu seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11).
  • Flu vaccination should be made readily accessible to all staff.

Tips to increase vaccination rates among staff
Vaccination rates of healthcare staff are higher when employers required it. For those not required to be vaccinated, rates were higher when
vaccination was offered on-site, free of charge for more than one day, and when personally reminded.


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