Flu Vaccine 2014-2015 – Take the Vaccination Pledge with your Alixa Clinical Pharmacist!
Less than half of all Americans received the influenza vaccine last year. Overall, 75.2% of healthcare workers were vaccinated in the 2013-14 season. Coverage was higher for health care workers in settings where vaccination was required (97.8%) compared to settings where vaccination was not required but promoted (72.4%) or settings where there was no requirement or promotion (47.9%). Coverage increased when compared to the prior 2 years for all settings with the exception of Long-term Care. Health care workers in Long-term Care had the lowest coverage at 63%. We need to work as a team to improve our status within the healthcare setting. Vaccination is safe and recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
Vaccination of all employees working in Long-term Care is critical because our residents have a decreased response to the vaccine and are at greater risk of complications, including death from the flu. Our best tool to protect our residents is getting vaccinated ourselves.
Standard Dose Trivalent (i.e. Fluzone) is approved for ages 6 months and older. Trivalent vaccines protect against two influenza A and one influenza B virus.
High Dose Trivalent Vaccine (Fluzone High Dose) – approved for people age 65 and older. More effective in preventing influenza than a standard dose vaccine in adults age 65 years and older per a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Intradermal Trivalent Vaccine is approved for ages 18-64 and utilizes a smaller needle that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle.
Recombinant Trivalent Vaccine that is egg free(Flublok) is approved for ages 18-49 whom have an egg allergy.
Quadrivalent Flu shot protects against two influenza A and two influenza B viruses. Different vaccines are approved for different age groups – visit the CDC website or ask your healthcare professional for details.
Quadrivalent Nasal Spray Vaccine is approved for use in people age 2 through 49 years old.
Which Vaccine is best?
The CDC doesn’t favor any one vaccine over another but rather recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get vaccinated. Protect yourself and your Long-term Care residents – Take the CDC Vaccination Pledge at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/nivw/pledge/index.html.
N Engl J Med 2014; 371:635-645
Matthew Palmer PharmD, CGP
AlixaRx Clinical Pharmacist
Dr. Palmer is a Clinical Pharmacist for AlixaRx. He provides clinical consulting services to skilled nursing facilities in the southern Wisconsin area. Matt is a certified geriatric pharmacist with over 9 years experience in the Long-term care arena. He also serves on the Senior and Long-term Care Section Board for the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin and is a Clinical Instructor for the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy. Matt has a Bachelors of Science from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.