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Influenza Vaccine Resources For You

1-flu_campaign_get_a_vaccineAs we head into the upcoming 2022-2023 flu season, we want to provide you with as much information as you talk to your parents about immunization.

“We play a critical role as providers in keeping our patients up to date on their routine childhood immunizations, including the influenza vaccine,” said Phillip Scott, M.D., a hospitalist at Cook Children’s. “In the face of widespread vaccine hesitancy, it is important that we are prepared to talk to our patients and families about the influenza vaccine. Don’t underestimate the importance of a simple conversation. Your patients and their families value your opinion and are relying on your recommendations regarding this year’s influenza vaccine.”

Information For You*

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Vaccine Hesitancy

How to Make a Strong Influenza Vaccine Recommendation

Based on years of research into vaccine motivators, the CDC has developed a mnemonic device to help health care providers make strong vaccine recommendations. This method known as “SHARE” can help you to make a strong vaccine recommendation and provide important information to help patients make informed decisions about vaccinations.

S- SHARE why an influenza vaccine is right for the patient given their age, health status, lifestyle, occupation, or other risk factors.

“This vaccine can protect you and your family from getting sick from flu. By getting a flu vaccine today, you’ll be protecting yourself and the people around you, like your children and parents, who are more vulnerable to serious flu-illness.”

H - HIGHLIGHT positive experiences with influenza vaccines (personal or in your practice), as appropriate, to reinforce the benefits and strengthen confidence in influenza vaccination.

“In addition to recommending a yearly flu vaccine to my patients, I get one each year to protect myself and my family from flu.”

A - ADDRESS patients’ questions and any concerns about influenza vaccines, including for example, side effects, safety, and vaccine effectiveness in plain and understandable language. Acknowledge that while people who get an influenza vaccine may still get sick, there are studies to show that their illness may be less severe.

“A flu vaccine cannot cause flu infection. The most common side effects of an influenza vaccine are mild, like redness, swelling, soreness, or low-grade fever. This should go away within a few days. Flu vaccines protect against flu illness but aren’t 100% effective, so even if you get vaccinated you might still become sick with flu. It’s important to get your flu vaccine because studies show that even if you do get sick, vaccination may make your flu illness less severe.”

R - REMIND patients that influenza vaccines help protect them and their loved ones from serious influenza illness and complications.

“Flu activity is going to start to pick up, and CDC says to expect more cases in the coming months. That is why I want to make sure I help protect you and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious complications.”

E - EXPLAIN the potential costs of getting influenza, including potential serious health effects for the patient and time lost (such as missing work or family obligations), financial costs, and potentially spreading flu to more vulnerable family and friends.

“It’s important to vaccinate your children this season because flu vaccination can reduce potential flu illnesses, doctor visits, hospitalizations, and even death. Vaccination can also keep your children from missing school, and you from missing work due to flu, and can protect those around you who are more vulnerable to potentially serious flu complications.