Older adults group

Collaboration to Address Influenza Vaccination Among Older Adults

Oct 04, 2021 | Amy Frandsen

Though the world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, flu season is upon us once again. Influenza is one of the most widespread infectious diseases in the United States. CDC estimates that annually, flu results in 9- 45 million illnesses and between 12,000 and 16,000 deaths. Just like last year, it is more important than ever to get a flu vaccine to prevent illness and reduce the burden on a healthcare system that is still trying to manage COVID-19. It is particularly important for older adults to get a flu vaccination as they are at higher risk for developing severe flu, which can lead to hospitalization or death.

On June 28, 2021, NACCHO hosted a virtual roundtable to discuss key issues around flu vaccination for older adults. With the recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic shaped perspectives and behaviors related to vaccination, public health leaders met to identify the best approaches and strategies for ensuring influenza vaccinations in individuals 65 years of age and older for the 2021–2022 influenza season and beyond.

This meeting convened over 50 participants representing a variety of sectors including state and local health departments, federal government agencies, non-profits, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, universities, and private industry.

Participants were asked to share their thoughts on how flu vaccination efforts for older adults will have to change because of effects from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as best practices for reaching under-represented adults both before and during the pandemic. In particular, participants shared lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that can be applied to maintain or increase flu vaccination rates for older adults. Discussions focused on developing recommendations related to four main themes- policy, access, data and reporting, and communications, while keeping equity and partnerships in mind for each theme.

Many recommendations were made; some of which include:

  • Institutionalize and adapt COVID-19 programs that can jointly serve influenza vaccination.
  • Fund vaccine infrastructure to capitalize on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Make it easy for people: provide transportation, judicious use of technology, and address language and literacy barriers.
  • Move from crisis-born relationships to long-term partnerships in public health.
  • Increase interoperability of adult immunization registries.
  • Create and distribute effective messaging.

To learn more about these recommendations as well as others that can be implemented at all different levels, check out the report, Collaboration to Address Influenza Among Older Adults.


About Amy Frandsen

More posts by Amy Frandsen

Related Posts

Vaccine
  • Tools & Resources
  • Immunization
  • Influenza

Influenza (Flu) Season 2020-2021: The Importance of...

Though the timing and duration varies, October often marks the start of...

Oct 14, 2020 | Leah Stern

Influenza (Flu) Season 2020-2021: The Importance of...

I Stock 1214357134
  • Health Equity & Social Justice
  • Immunization
  • Influenza

National Influenza Vaccination Week and the Impact of...

December 6-12 is National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) in the United...

Dec 11, 2020 | Amy Frandsen

National Influenza Vaccination Week and the Impact of...

Mask up
  • Tools & Resources
  • Infectious Disease
  • Influenza

Gear Up for Flu Season!

CDC has published a range of resources - including social media messaging, key...

Sep 22, 2020 | Kim Rodgers

Gear Up for Flu Season!

NIVW2020
  • Tools & Resources
  • Immunization
  • Influenza

National Influenza Vaccination Week 2020

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is December 6 – 12, 2020. NIVW is...

Dec 02, 2020 | Kimberly Sharpe-Scott

National Influenza Vaccination Week 2020

Mask Up Lather Up Sleeve Up 1200x627
  • Tools & Resources
  • Immunization
  • Influenza

CDC Social Media Campaign: Roll your #SleeveUp to...

CDC recently released the Roll your #SleeveUp to #FightFlu social media...

Sep 29, 2020 | Kimberly Sharpe-Scott

CDC Social Media Campaign: Roll your #SleeveUp to...

Back to Top