A letter from the CDC, in partnership with the AAFP and other organizations, offers key points to consider about the importance of flu vaccination and prompt treatment for flu, particularly in high risk patients.
Download the 2014-2015 recommendations for prevention and control of influenza with vaccines.
Read a letter issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the AAFP and other organizations urging health care providers to recommend that pregnant and postpartum women receive the influenza vaccine.
Influenza Prevention Recommendations
The AAFP recommends that physicians offer influenza vaccination as soon as it becomes available each year and continue to provide the vaccine throughout the flu season (i.e., as long as influenza viruses are circulating in the community).
The AAFP has adopted the 2014-2015 recommendations(7 page PDF) for the prevention and control of influenza with vaccines, which are consistent with that of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)(www.cdc.gov).
Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older.
The AAFP recommends, when immediately available, the preferential use of live attenuated vaccine (LAIV) in healthy children aged 2 through 8 years who have no contraindications or precautions(www.cdc.gov). If LAIV is not immediately available, vaccination should not be delayed, and inactivated influenza vaccine should be used.
Read AAFP statement about effectiveness of LAIV
Children aged 6 months through 8 years require 2 doses of influenza vaccine, administered ≥ 4 weeks apart, during their first season of vaccination to optimize their immune response. For more information, view the 2014-2015 ACIP Influenza Vaccine Dosing Algorithm for Children Aged 6 Months Through 8 Years.(www.cdc.gov)
The ACIP recommends that all persons receive a dose of pneumococcal vaccine when or after they reach age 65. The pneumococcal vaccine is an once-in-a-lifetime vaccine after age 65 that can be given along with the influenza vaccine, during the same appointment.
View more information about the Pneumococcal vaccine
The influenza vaccine is the first step to prevent the flu, and your recommendation can make a difference. Consider the following points in discussions with patients:
The AAFP supports annual mandatory influenza immunization for health care personnel (HCP) except for religious or medical reasons (not personal preferences). If HCP are not vaccinated, policies to adjust practice activities during flu season are appropriate (e.g. wear masks, refrain from direct patient care). (Board Chair approved June, 2011)
Trivalent recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV3) is considered egg-free and may be given to persons aged 18 through 49 years who have no other contraindications.
Persons who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg should receive the influenza vaccine, either with RIV3 or inactivated vaccines. If the inactivated vaccine is used, the vaccine should be administered by health care providers familiar with the potential signs and symptoms of egg allergy, and the patient should be observed for ≥ 30 minutes after vaccine administration. Persons who have had angioedema, respiratory distress, lightheadedness, recurrent emesis, or have required emergency medical intervention after exposure to egg may receive RIV3 if they are aged 18 through 49 years without contraindications. If RIV3 is not available, or the patient is not eligible for RIV3, inactivated influenza vaccine should be administered by a physician with experience in the recognition and management of severe allergic reactions. For more information, view the 2014-2015 ACIP Recommendations Regarding Influenza Vaccination of Persons Who Report Allergy to Eggs(www.cdc.gov).
This protocol assists physicians and health care professionals in the management of the expected surge of patients during an influenza pandemic. Download the protocol algorithm(2 page PDF).
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) works collaboratively with the ACIP(www.cdc.gov), which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(www.cdc.gov) on immunizations.
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