Reminder: Flu Season Is Here

By: AvMed News AvMed News

It’s December, which means flu season is in full effect. Have your patients scheduled their flu shot appointments yet? All AvMed Members can receive a flu shot free of charge from a Participating Provider or pharmacy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot every year. If you haven’t done so already, consider sending out reminders to patients who have yet to receive their vaccine, especially seniors and other high-risk groups like pregnant women and children under 5 years old.

Immunization helps more than just the patient – it also helps protect everyone around them from the virus. Don’t forget to inform your patients that it can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to take effect. While it’s never too late to get vaccinated, the sooner the better. A flu shot visit also provides an opportunity for patients to catch up on other immunizations such as pneumonia shots.

During a visit, it’s possible that your patient may express concerns about ingredients in the vaccine. Reassure them about their safety and let them know that they can ask for a preservative-free vaccine from their local pharmacy.

Here are some ways to protect yourself this season:

  1. Get the flu shot. It bears repeating: The vaccine is the most effective way to prevent infection.
  2. Clean common areas regularly. Surfaces like kitchen counters and sinks are breeding grounds for the flu virus. They should be wiped down regularly to minimize the risk of transmission.
  3. Wash hands frequently. Your patients should practice proper hygiene and wash their hands, as well as avoid touching their face.
  4. Avoid close contact. Individuals should steer clear of anyone who is exhibiting signs of infection. Conversely, infected people should stay home from work if possible.

Patients interested in more flu-fighting tips can visit CDC.gov/flu.