One of health care professionals’ greatest responsibilities is making sure children receive their recommended vaccinations, including an annual influenza vaccination. Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, each year influenza causes approximately 20,000 hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths in American children younger than 5 years of age. Parents and other family members are often unaware of the seriousness of influenza and the value of immunization for children. Experts agree that educating patients about the severity of influenza and health care professional vaccination recommendations are critical to increasing immunization rates among at-risk children and their contacts.
In an effort to increase annual influenza immunization rates, the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) wants to assist health care professionals educate patients who are recommended for influenza vaccination. The CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians recommend infants, children and adolescents be vaccinated annually against influenza. Health care professionals should use every opportunity to vaccinate—such as during well-child, follow-up or acute care visits—should begin immunizing as soon as vaccine becomes available and should continue to vaccinate throughout the influenza season. Influenza vaccination rates drop significantly after Thanksgiving, even though the number of influenza cases typically does not peak until February.
Additionally, the Coalition strongly supports the CDC recommendation to vaccinate health care workers to protect them and prevent transmitting the influenza virus to vulnerable patients.
We encourage you to browse through this Web site to access tools and online resources that will help you protect yourself and your patients from influenza.
CIIC is made possible by an unrestricted educational grant to NFID from sanofi pasteur.