Help reduce the impact of seasonal influenza: get immunized and encourage others to do the same!

September 21, 2016

Preventing healthcare-associated transmission of influenza protects patients, healthcare workers, and our communities. As influenza spreads easily from person to person, healthcare workers have a duty to limit the transmission of influenza to their patients. The most effective way to prevent the transmission is annual influenza immunization. According to Alberta Health, the healthcare worker immunization rate in Alberta declined to 61% during the 2015/2016 influenza season. The ultimate goal is for 100% of healthcare workers, who are able to receive the vaccine, to be immunized.

In addition to getting immunized yourself, as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, you have the opportunity to play a key role in communicating the importance of immunization and encouraging patients to get immunized. While it can affect Albertans of all ages, including healthy adults, it is especially serious for seniors, infants, pregnant women, and those with chronic medical conditions. Getting the flu vaccine is the best way for Albertans to protect themselves, their families, friends, and coworkers.

Pharmacists with authorization to administer drugs by injection may be interested in RxA’s The Yearly Booster: Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Program 2016/2017 course. This online course has been accredited for 1.5 CEUs and will cover the policies pharmacists need to be familiar with, and describes this year’s flu vaccine products and their associated recommendation for use based on patient specifics.

To view the Alberta Health Influenza Immunization Policy for 2016/2017, please visit: http://www.health.alberta.ca/professionals/immunization-policy.html


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