December 6, 2022, 3:25 p.m. News Staff — The AAFP is taking action to help family physicians prepare for a potential “tripledemic” of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus this winter by publishing two new guidance documents and updating several related pages on the Academy’s patient-centered website, familydoctor.org.
The first new resource is the Clinician Quick Reference Influenza Vaccination Guide. It gives members influenza vaccine recommendations, a list of approved vaccines, a table of vaccine options categorized by patient age and indications for people who are at higher risk of complications if they contract influenza, as well as links to CDC resources.
The second new resource, the Quick Conversation Guide on COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children 6 Months and Older, helps FPs answer questions from concerned parents and counteract misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccines. The guide addresses the importance of vaccinations, the severity of COVID-19 infection, potential side effects from vaccination and vaccine safety.
Both guides are available on the Academy’s Immunizations and Vaccines webpage, which directs members to additional resources such as immunization schedules, policy statements and more.
Family physicians who are content experts on immunization practices have also reviewed and updated three familydoctor.org webpages: “COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Under 5,” “Flu Myths” and “Respiratory Syncytial Virus.”
The new and updated resources are part of a larger Academy campaign to give members the latest information for what could be a substantial increase in cases of COVID-19, influenza and RSV in the coming weeks.
Other recent offerings include a 25-minute recording of an AAFP Town Hall featuring President Tochi Iroku-Malize, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., and Senior Vice President of Education, Inclusiveness and Physician Well-Being Margot Savoy, M.D., M.P.H.; and an American Family Physician Community Blog entry, “Preparing for the ‘Tripledemic’: RSV, Influenza and COVID-19.”
In addition, the Academy has joined five other medical specialty organizations in urging health care professionals to strongly recommend influenza vaccination for all patients and to offer vaccinations in the office setting whenever possible.
According to the CDC’s Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, as of Dec. 2, 47 states and jurisdictions were experiencing high or very high outpatient respiratory illness activity, and 7.5% of all visits of all health care visits for the week were for influenza-like illness, triple the national baseline of 2.5%.