Executive Director,
AMDA

What is new related to AMDA-The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine’s flu vaccination guidance?

A: We are now recommending mandatory vaccinations for all long-term care healthcare personnel,  unless there’s a medical contraindication. We mean volunteers, employees and those family members visiting residents — really anyone in close proximity.

Q: What has the response been?

A: It’s been extremely positive from our members.

Q: What do you say to people concerned about getting the shot?

A: It is true last year’s flu season was brutal. The effectiveness was about 30%. People think 70% ineffective, and it wasn’t the case: The rest of the population will have a less severe case.

People often ask if they can get the flu from the flu shot. It’s categorically impossible. The biggest symptom is a sore arm.

Q: What is your advice for facilities struggling with whether or not to make this mandatory?

A: My advice is to try it. The reason being is that of all of healthcare, long-term care is lagging. We have extremely low vaccination rates compared to other segments.