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PharmScript Offers Tips on How to Beat the Flu in Long-Term Care Communities
Date:10/31/2013

Edison, NJ (PRWEB) October 31, 2013

In the U.S., influenza outbreaks typically occur from fall through winter months. Although infection rates are highest among children, complications, hospitalizations, and deaths related to the flu occur most among adults 65 and older and adults aged 50 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the primary option for reducing the effect of influenza is immune-prophylaxis with vaccine. Vaccinating high-risk individuals before influenza virus circulation increases is the most effective way of doing this.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (APIC) recommends providers begin vaccinations as soon as they obtain the vaccine, or at least by October, and continue providing them to newly admitted individuals throughout the flu season, since influenza activity may not peak in some communities until February or March. The majority of adults will have antibody protection within two weeks after vaccination.

Because residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are at higher risk for medical complications, they and the staff who care for them are recommended to receive the annual influenza vaccination.

To help long-term care communities conduct effective flu immunization programs, PharmScript advises staff to review the following CMS established requirements to minimize residents’ risk of acquiring, transmitting, or experiencing complications:

  • Physician approved policies for influenza vaccine orders (F386 Physician Visits states that influenza vaccine may be administered based on physician-approved policy after assessment for contraindications);
  • Identification of each resident’s immunization status, including assessment for potential medical contraindications and record of recent vaccination
  • A vaccination schedule includin
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