Influenza Season 2013-14(1)

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. CDC encourages you to offer flu vaccine to any patient at any opportunity. Your recommendation can play a crucial role in your patient’s decision to get vaccinated.

There are several options for flu vaccine during the 2013-14 flu season. This includes both the traditional trivalent vaccine and quadrivalent vaccine.

The 2013-2014 trivalent influenza vaccine is made from the following three viruses:

  • an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) -like virus;
  • an A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011;
  • a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.

Quadrivalent vaccine containing two influenza B viruses include the above three viruses and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

CDC recommends everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. It’s especially important for some people to get vaccinated. Those people include the following:

  • People who are at high risk of developing serious complications if they get sick with the flu, such as: 
    • Children aged 6 through 59 months;
    • Adults age 50 years and older;
    • Adults and children with chronic pulmonary (including asthma) or cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, neurological, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes);
    • Adults and children who are immunosuppressed;
    • Pregnant women;
    • Children and adolescents (aged 6 months--18 years) receiving long-term aspirin therapy;
    • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
    • American Indians/Alaska Natives
       
  • People who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications.
    • This includes healthcare personnel and household contacts and caregivers of young children and people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

Physician Tools for Promoting Vaccination and Treating Patients
CDC guidance - CDC provides treatment guidelines and communication resources specifically for you and your patients. This includes the current Vaccine Information Statements for Influenza-Inactivated and Influenza -Live, intranasal.   

 TMA immunization resources -  The Facts about Flu Vaccination handout helps you educate your patients. To order copies, in English or Spanish, contact TMA's outreach coordinator, Tammy Wishard, at tammy.wishard@texmed.org or (512) 370-1470.

 DSHS Protect 2 from the Flu program - Texas Department of State Health Services has launched the “Protect Two from the Flu” campaign encouraging pregnant women to get the flu vaccine. Physicians can order free printed materials at Protect2.org/downloads.

 Protect Your Patients, Your Family, and Yourself
TMA strongly supports immunization of all physicians with the recommended vaccines available for preventable diseases, including the annual flu shot. Despite the recommendations, often health care workers do not protect themselves against the flu. TMA offers a poster featuring a health care worker with the tag line: “Protect your patients. Protect yourself & family. Get a flu shot.” To order copies of this poster to hang in your office or break room, call Tammy Wishard, (512) 370-1470 or send her an e-mail at tammy.wishard@texmed.org . 


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