We all know that the healthcare profession has been focused on COVID-19 concerns since March 2020. The need to learn, implement, and adapt practices to keep our patients and ourselves safe from the COVID-19 virus has taken a great deal of our attention and resources for nearly two years. It has been, and continues to be, an important focus.
However, COVID-19 is not the only virus that the healthcare profession, especially the skilled nursing and assisted living profession, must contend with. COVID-19 may have been top-of-mind, but it’s the season to remember another virus that we have the resources to combat: the flu.
That’s right. Flu season is upon us, which means flu prevention season is also here! The CDC website provides an excellent assortment of resources, including materials to assist companies and individuals with sharing trustworthy information to social media.
Most importantly, we want to remind everyone that just like past years, the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your co-workers, your family, and your residents or patients from becoming sick from the flu virus. The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu.
According to the CDC, everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season. “The flu vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, and has been shown to be life-saving!”
For most who get sick with the flu, symptoms will be mild. However, there are many groups of people for whom the flu can cause more severe issues. Those with chronic illness, children younger than five, pregnant women, people with diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, and adults 65 and older can all experience serious complications from the flu. But it’s certainly not all bad news! According to the CDC, in recent years, flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu-related hospitalizations among older adults by 40%. And at Mission, we know that keeping residents and patients out of the hospital and safe in their own space is a huge piece of both mental and physical well-being.
Particularly in the healthcare setting, where we care for and treat more at-risk populations, ensuring everyone who can get vaccinated does get vaccinated is essential.
For our part at Mission Health and Mission Living, our employees are required to be vaccinated against the flu (baring specific exemptions) and we facilitate getting the vaccine for our patients and residents, who understand how important the flu vaccine is to their continued health. The CDC provides additional information to help address various concerns, and we encourage everyone to explore further—either for themselves, or to utilize when speaking with other who may have questions about the flu vaccine. For more information you can go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu or call them at 800.232.4636