• New Tools Support Flu Vaccine Recommendations

    March 21, 2024, News Staff — As the number of visits for respiratory illness remain above baseline in the United States this month, family physicians are still in the best position to help patients avoid severe outcomes from influenza.

    Members now have a set of new and updated tools from the AAFP to assist them in educating patients about the importance of receiving an influenza vaccine. These resources include a brief guide to making effective vaccination recommendations, as well as a clinical fact sheet and a quick reference. To support their recommendations, physicians can refer to evidence-based handouts and articles created specifically for patients as part of these updates.

    Tools for Family Physicians

    Members have access to the new and updated clinical resources, which are supported by an unrestricted grant from Seqirus USA Inc., on the AAFP’s Immunizations and Vaccines webpage.

    The Making a Strong Flu Vaccine Recommendation resource explains in a single page how, why and when to recommend that patients receive an influenza vaccine. Sample dialogue illustrates ways to implement each element of the SHARE (Share, Highlight, Address, Remind and Explain) method for making strong recommendations:

    • Share why the flu vaccine is right for the patient.
    • Highlight positive experiences to reaffirm the advantages and build confidences in flu vaccination.
    • Address questions and issues patients may have, such as side effects, safety concerns and the shot’s efficacy.
    • Remind patients that flu vaccinations prevent major illness, which can lead to hospitalization or even death for some people.
    • Explain the possible consequences of contracting the flu, including health effects, missed job or family obligations, financial impacts and the possibility of infecting susceptible family members and friends.

    A Clinician Quick Reference Influenza Vaccination Guide has been updated with the latest recommendations for the 2023-2024 flu season, including dosages, patient ages, contraindications and precautions.

    An Influenza Vaccination Fact Sheet corrects several misconceptions about flu vaccines and summarizes key facts from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices related to

    • vaccine acceptance,
    • co-administration with other vaccines,
    • vaccine composition,
    • vaccine timing,
    • older adults and
    • egg allergies.

    Tools for Patients

    New and updated resources on familydoctor.org's Influenza Health Hub, which are supported by an unrestricted grant from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP., have easy-to-understand, evidence-based information for patients that include questions they should ask their physicians.

    The Complete Guide to Flu Vaccines summarizes differences between the various types of vaccines that are available and how flu vaccines protect communities.

    Flu Myths debunks 14 common misconceptions about the flu and influenza vaccines.

    Flu Risks and Chronic Conditions details conditions than can put people at high risk for complications from influenza and explains vaccine safety.

    More for Members

    Members can always find the latest resources on influenza and immunizations at aafp.org, including immunization schedules, free CME, patient education and more.