Flu Image

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated their Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions document for the 2020 – 2021 Season. Access it here.

It is National Immunization Awareness Month. An opportunity to educate and offer guidance on benefits of an annual flu shot. While it’s not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, CDC believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. In this context, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever as it can help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses and thus lessen the burden on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has not yet voted on the flu vaccine recommendations for 2020-2021, CDC does not anticipate a major change in the recommendation on timing of vaccination. Getting vaccinated in August is too early, especially for older people, because of the likelihood of reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season. September and October are good times to get vaccinated. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even in January or later.

Will there be changes in how and where flu vaccine is given this fall and winter?

How and where people get a flu vaccine may need to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CDC is working with healthcare providers and state and local health departments to develop contingency plans on how to vaccinate people against flu without increasing their risk of exposure to respiratory germs, like the virus that causes COVID-19.

The flu vaccine remains the best way to protect the ones you love from influenza, especially seniors. Individuals aged 65 years and older and those with certain chronic medical conditions become high-risk patients if they develop serious flu-related complications. Together, we play an important role in helping to educate the healthcare community and patients about immunization recommendations.

2020-2021 Influenza Season and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Great Plains Quality Innovation Network is actively working with providers, patients, partners and stakeholders to increase immunization rates through education, resources and information sharing. We offer a wealth of free evidence-based resources to promote best practices, guidelines and tools to break down barriers to care. Visit our Web site to learn more and join the Great Plains Quality Care Coalition to stay informed and connected.