Adults age 65 years and older are at greater risk of severe complications from influenza, due both to their increased likelihood of having chronic conditions and to the decline of their immune systems with aging. 3
Annual influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza4, but vaccination coverage among older adults in the U.S. has stagnated, and in some years has declined significantly over the previous season’s rate.5, 6 In the 2016–2017 season, only 65.3% of adults age 65 and older were vaccinated against the flu.5 This is below the Healthy People 2020 goal to annually vaccinate 90% of non-institutionalized adults age 65 and older.7
As a health care provider, your strong, confident recommendation for flu vaccine is a very powerful and persuasive tool in determining if your patients are vaccinated.8
Ensure that your high-risk older patients are vaccinated against flu by using the information, tools, and resources provided by 65+ FLU DEFENSE.
1. Thompson WW, Shay DK, Weintraub E, et al. Mortality Associated with Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2003;289:179–86. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12517228 2. Kostova D, Reed C, Finelli L, Cheng PY, Gargiullo PM, et al. Influenza Illness and Hospitalizations Averted by Influenza Vaccination in the United States, 2005–2011. PLOS ONE 8(6): e66312. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066312 3. Call to Action: Reinvigorating Influenza Prevention in U.S. Adults Age 65 Years and Older. National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. http://www.nfid.org/flu-older-adults. 4. Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm 5. Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, 2016-17 Influenza Season. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/coverage-1617estimates.htm 6. Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, Prior Flu Seasons. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/earlier-seasons.htm. 7. Healthy People 2020 Topics & Objectives. Immunization and Infectious Diseases. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/data-search/Search-the-Data#objid=4666. 8. Villacorta R, Sood N. Determinants of Healthcare Provider Recommendations For Influenza Vaccinations. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2015;2:355-370. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.04.017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4721324/