With the flu season looming this fall, one long-term care group is recommending mandatory vaccinations for nursing home personnel.
The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, or AMDA, released its latest recommendations related to vaccines last week. The group noted that last year’s flu season was “especially brutal” for the elderly, with frail seniors particularly vulnerable to the viral infection.
“Since some 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in people over 65 years of age, this truly is a critical issue for PA/LTC settings,” Christopher Laxton, executive director of AMDA. “That’s why we’ve updated our guidance and are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get the message out.”
In its newly updated guidance on addressing influenza, the society recommends: (1) mandatory annual flu vaccines for anyone who comes into contact with residents, unless there is a medical condition that prevents him or her from doing so; (2) education for all healthcare personnel on the safety and efficacy of vaccines; (3) masks for employees who don’t receive a flu shot, and come into direct contact with residents during flu season; and (4) making flu vaccines free, on site, to employees and volunteers.