AMA stresses importance of flu shots for doctors, patients

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To help stop the spread of flu this season, doctors should talk to their patients about getting vaccinated--and get shots themselves, according to the American Medical Association's news service.

A recent study found that up to 40% of people never discuss flu vaccinations with their doctors. Of those who did discuss a flu vaccine, half of them said they initiated the conversation, according to AMNews. For the last 10 flu seasons, only about 42% of physicians are themselves vaccinated. Unvaccinated healthcare workers are much more likely to spread the disease through a nursing home or long-term care facility, whereas there is a 44% drop in resident deaths when all workers are immunized, AMNews reported.

Every year, some 36,000 people die from complications due to influenza, and up to 90% of them are seniors. For more information, visit http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/10/13/hll21013.htm.