As influenza season begins its peak this month, make sure your patients are visiting you for their yearly influenza vaccination rather than a sick child visit. National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), Dec. 4-10, focuses on the importance of continuing to administer the influenza vaccine to patients, especially through the holiday season.
The AAP-backed campaign from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls on pediatricians and other health care professionals to help spread the word about the latest AAP influenza recommendations (see AAP News summary: http://bit.ly/2eslP9V). The inactivated influenza vaccine is recommended throughout influenza season (October to May) for all children ages 6 months and older. The recommendation is particularly important to protect vulnerable populations such as babies under 6 months and pregnant women, but even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
The Academy also supports a mandatory influenza immunization policy for all health care personnel. Influenza vaccine coverage rates are higher with mandatory programs in comparison with voluntary programs.
A free AAP News Parent Plus article explains the changes to the influenza vaccine this season (http://www.aappublications.org/news/2016/09/28/PPFlu092816). Share information with caregivers and teachers, http://bit.ly/2ez3n17.
Free continuing medical education on pediatric influenza immunization is available via PediaLink (http://bit.ly/2e67wcN), and an archived webinar focused on strategies to improve prevention and control in children is available from the CDC at http://bit.ly/2flPcs1.
Keep up with the latest flu information at www.aap.org/disasters/flu. For posters and other National Influenza Vaccination Week resources, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/nivw/.