Flu season begins in October and usually ends in March with the highest activity in February, followed by December, January and March, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Every year, tens of thousands of people in the United States contract influenza, and new influenza vaccines are created to protect and prevent influenza A and B strains expected to cause infections during upcoming winter months. Getting the influenza vaccine is the single best way to prevent flu and potentially serious complications.
Increasing Immunization Rates Among African Americans
African Americans significantly receive disproportionately fewer influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations compared to the rest of the population. In order to enhance best practices and promote better patient outcomes, the CDC, in collaboration with the Association of State and Territorial Officials and the NMA, has created a survey to assess physicians' attitudes and beliefs related to influenza and other vaccinations.
NMA members who take the survey will be entered into a drawing for a gift card of $250.
Click here to take the survey.
Message from NMA President Lawrence Sanders, Jr., MD
Dr. Lawrence Sanders, Jr., summarizes the Centers for Disease Control's advisory and recommendation on influenza A and the effectiveness of the current influenza vaccine.
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CDC Recommends the Flu Shot for Pregnant Women
In an October 9 letter, the CDC is asking health professionals to recommend the influenza vaccine to their pregnant patients throughout the current influenza season. The letter also asks practitioners to recommend the Tdap vaccination to your pregnant patients as they enter their third trimester. "Pregnant women and their babies are at increased risk for influenza-related complications, including premature labor and preterm birth. Additionally, pertussis outbreaks continue to occur in the United States with infants at highest risk of severe illness, including hospitalization and death," the letter states.
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Cobb Institute Immunization Toolkit
The W. Montague Cobb NMA Health Institute has produced an all-new Immunization-Influenza Toolkit, which defines influenza disease and its epidemiology, and includes information on diagnoses, treatment and prevention; influenza disparities; myths; and tips for successful campaigns and influenza-related links.
Click here for the toolkit.