Preventing seasonal flu (influenza) is as important as ever in 2022-2023, while COVID-19 is still circulating. This website is CDC’s guide for preventing the flu, including who should get the flu shot, and how vaccination is the single best way to prevent the flu. CDC notes: “Flu vaccines help to reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system each year.” Recommendations are to get vaccinated before the end of October. Generally, it takes about two weeks to get the full effect of the antibody protection from the vaccine.
A question to ask your nursing home employees: Did you get your seasonal flu shot? Nursing homes who pay for their employees’ flu shots may have higher compliance, and higher rates of employee immunization, along with resident immunization, reduced influenza outbreaks, and therefore fewer deaths. See resources, including summary by Lisa Shugarman et al of the Rand Corporation “Vaccination of Nursing Home Staff, Residents, Key to Reducing Influenza Outbreaks”. According to the most recent CDC data, flu vaccination coverage continues to be lower among staff working in long-term care (LTC) settings (66%) compared with those working in hospitals (92%) or ambulatory settings (77%).
If you’re interested in avian flu vaccine trials and other research on avian flu, check this clinicaltrials.gov site by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Consumers can limit the number of studies to see just those trials with results.
Resources to improve influenza vaccination for healthcare personnel from The Joint Commission. Joint Commission standards for immunizing health care personnel (HCPs) against influenza – both seasonal flu and pandemic flu. Strategies from research and best practices from others are shared in order to improve vaccination rates (to reach a 90% goal), thereby protecting both patients and staff, and reducing the spread of influenza.
Compare nursing home ratings in the state of New York. Easy-to-use site allows consumers to search by county or zip code area and see NY nursing home quality ratings side-by-side. Compare Nursing Homes shows measures such as bedsores (pressure ulcers), bladder control, urinary tract infections, restraint use, percent more depressed or anxious, percent of residents who got the seasonal flu shot (last 2 flu seasons). Click on nursing facility name to see how many of 5 stars it receives for each measure, plus inspection, certification and complaint survey results and citations, as well as what percent of their employees got the flu shot. Directory View is helpful for names and map location. Can also search from the drop down menu for special licensed services such as Ventilator-dependent, Behavioral Intervention, or Adult Day Care. NY Dept. of Health site; most data are 2021-2022, updated 2023. Complaints include those in 2023.