LTC providers urged to fill out CDC flu vaccine survey by Friday

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Long-term care providers should fill out a survey by Friday to inform federal officials about their flu vaccine needs and wants, major provider associations are telling members.

The survey can be found at www.aahsa.org and www.ahca.org, among other sites. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they will compile the cumulative ordering information to help devise a revised distribution plan.

Providers are being asked to send information about original Chiron flu vaccine orders, as well as whether Flumist vaccine doses were ordered for staff members.

Nursing homes have been named a high priority for receiving doses of flu vaccine, especially in light of the drastic shortage America is facing.

Despite officials' assurances that nursing homes would be fast-tracked for vaccine doses, however, some providers remained skeptical this week that redistribution efforts -- away from regular physicians' offices and less needy individuals, for example -- would take place properly.

Survey information would remain confidential and be used only for the purpose of devising a vaccine distribution plan, CDC officials said.