National Influenza Vaccination Week began Dec. 6 and will run through Dec. 12.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made available downloadable print materials and web ads that senior living communities and others can use to observe the week and encourage staff members, residents and family members to get vaccinated.
Additionally, the CDC offers a toolkit to help increase vaccination among those working in long-term care settings; in healthcare settings, vaccination last year was lowest among those working in assisted living communities, nursing homes, home health and other long-term care settings, which puts residents at risk of getting the flu and becoming seriously ill. The CDC also is seeking increased vaccination among younger and middle-aged individuals.
The CDC recommends annual vaccination for everyone older than 6 months. Those aged 65 or more years are considered at high risk of serious flu complications, including pneumonia or a worsening of existing health conditions, which can lead to hospitalization or death.
The agency’s research shows that flu vaccination tends to drop after the end of November, but it’s never too late to get a flu vaccine.
Among activities to do during NIVW: