CDC recommends everyone six months and older be vaccinated against the flu by the end of October to avoid peak flu season. Long-term care providers should review their program requirements for guidance related to vaccination requirements and infection control. Some of the CDC’s recommendations for vaccinating residents in health care settings are:
- That LTC facilities offer the flu vaccine to all residents and health care staff throughout the flu season.
- People 65 years and older are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications compared with young, healthy adults.
- CDC and ACIP recommend the use of higher-dose flu vaccines for people 65 years and older.
Adhere to standard precautions. They are the foundation for preventing the transmission of infectious agents in all health care settings and help prevent the flu.
Implement droplet precautions for those with suspected or confirmed flu. Do this for seven days after illness onset or until 24 hours after the fever and respiratory symptoms resolve, whichever is longer, while the person is in a long-term care facility.
Per TAC Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 97, report all outbreaks to the local health department, regardless of the provider type. Contact information for your local health department is on the DSHS website.
As a reminder, flu vaccines may be safely coadministered with other vaccines. In addition to getting a flu shot, people 65 years and older should take the same preventive actions CDC recommends for everyone, including avoiding people who are sick, covering coughs, washing hands often, and staying up-to-date with all recommended vaccines.
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