- As many as 21,000 persons die annually from flu in the U.S.
- 90% of flu deaths are in those over age 65, those under age 2 are also at high risk
- The CDC recommends all persons over 6 months old be vaccinated, unless contraindicated
- Live nasal flu vaccines (LAIV) are not recommended this season due to concerns that it is less effective than injectable options
- Latex-free vaccine is available for those with severe latex allergies
- Persons with severe egg allergy may be able to receive the vaccine, but there recommendations how this should occur
- Inactivated flu vaccines do not interact with other vaccines
- Children may require 2 doses of vaccine
What You Can Do
As nursing students complete their clinical rotations, they may be asked to participate in vaccinated clients against flu. Tagging along to flu clinics is a great way to learn and practice giving IM injections! Seek out these opportunities by talking to your preceptor about what the site’s flu prevention plans are which may include standing orders and offering all clients vaccination for flu and pneumonia. All healthcare professionals are encouraged to be vaccinated to prevent transmission of flu to vulnerable populations. The Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) makes recommendations every year and posts updates on their websites that hold a wealth on information for student nurses that can help them prepare for clinical rotations during this flu season. There is information on who should and should not receive the flu vaccine, vaccines new to the market, and what to do if a client has an allergy to eggs. Check it out and get the facts!