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Leading Organizations Partner to Raise Awareness About the Healthcare Professional's Important Role in Influenza Prevention

Families Fighting Flu
Posted on: 08 Nov 17
Leading Organizations Partner to Raise Awareness About the Healthcare Professional's Important Role in Influenza Prevention Research Confirms a Strong Recommendation by a Healthcare Professional Can Improve Vaccination Rates

PR Newswire

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 8, 2017

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With flu season officially here, three leading health organizations, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), HealthyWomen and Families Fighting Flu, urge healthcare professionals to understand the influential role they have in flu prevention by proactively recommending an annual flu vaccination to patients to help protect against this serious and potentially deadly disease. Through this collaboration, Do You Know the Flu?, the organizations aim to arm and educate healthcare professionals to better understand how they have a profound and real impact on a person's decision to receive an annual flu vaccination.  

"It is our priority to strongly urge patient families to take advantage of available vaccines at each recommended age, including getting an annual flu vaccine for every family member over age 6 months," said Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC, and president of NAPNAP. "We cannot let this serious disease claim another young life."

The flu is often overlooked or misunderstood as a disease that is slightly worse than the common cold; however, it poses serious risks for everyone, including healthy people. Children, even those who are healthy, are uniquely vulnerable because they are at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu, including hospitalization and even death.1 However, an annual flu vaccination has been shown to be the best preventive measure available to help protect against this highly contagious disease. In fact, a recent study was the first of its kind to demonstrate that an annual flu vaccination significantly reduced a healthy child's risk of dying from the flu by as much as 65%.2,3  By making a strong recommendation to patients, and particularly parents, about the significant benefits of an annual flu vaccination for the entire family, healthcare professionals have the ability to directly and positively impact vaccination rates.4

"With flu season fast approaching, it is imperative for parents to get not only their children but also themselves vaccinated as soon as possible. As primary caretaker of the family, oftentimes women ignore their health, which can put them at risk," said Beth Battaglino, RN, and CEO of HealthyWomen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention everyone 6 months of age and older, with rare exception, should receive an annual flu vaccination to help protect themselves as well as to help prevent them from spreading flu to others. Everyone eligible for vaccination can help reduce the spread of the flu within their communities by getting vaccinated. This is particularly important for people in high risk categories, including babies younger than 6 months old who cannot receive a flu vaccination, people with compromised immune systems, and pregnant women.

"For more than ten years, Families Fighting Flu has been committed to flu prevention and education by working with our medical advisors and member families who have all experienced the devastating effects of the flu firsthand," said Serese Marotta, chief operating officer of Families Fighting Flu. "We understand that life is busy, but no one should ever be too busy to get an annual flu vaccination – it only takes a few minutes to help protect yourself against this potentially deadly disease and help reduce the spread of flu to those around you." 

The Do You Know the Flu e-toolkit for healthcare professionals serves as a comprehensive resource on flu, including a firsthand perspective from a pediatric nurse practitioner about flu vaccination, personal stories of families significantly impacted by the flu, flu vaccination conversation talking points for healthcare professionals, flu facts and statistics, and educational materials to share with patients. The Do You Know the Flu educational initiative is made possible through an educational collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur. For more information and to download this important resource, please visit: www.familiesfightingflu.org.

About the Flu
Influenza, or the flu, is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs) that can also affect many other organs in the body and cause serious complications or even death.1 The flu is spread through tiny droplets made when someone talks, coughs or sneezes.5 It is often confused with the common cold, but flu symptoms tend to develop quickly and are usually more severe than the typical sneezing and congestion associated with a cold.6 The flu vaccine is the best preventive measure available to help protect against flu, and millions of people have safely received the flu vaccine for more than 50 years.7 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months of age and older, with rare exception, receive an annual flu vaccination, unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare professional.7

About the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the nation's only professional association for pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) and their fellow pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) dedicated to improving the quality of health care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Representing more than 8,500 healthcare practitioners with 19 special interest groups and 50 chapters, NAPNAP has been advocating for children's health since 1973 and was the first APRN society in the United States. Visit www.NAPNAP.org for provider and family resources.

About HealthyWomen
For nearly 30 years, HealthyWomen has inspired and empowered millions of women to take a proactive role in their health. A progressive and unique women's health not-for-profit, HealthyWomen combines a 24/7 online health media platform with award-winning education and advocacy campaigns. HealthyWomen's web destination engages with readers and health care providers alike and provides valuable health information that educates women and guides them through the various ages and stages of life. For more information on HealthyWomen, visit www.healthywomen.org.

About Families Fighting Flu
Families Fighting Flu is a national nonprofit, 501(c)(3) volunteer-based advocacy organization dedicated to protecting children and their families against influenza. Our organization includes families whose children have suffered serious medical complications or died from influenza, as well as other advocates and healthcare practitioners committed to flu prevention. In honor of our children, we work to increase awareness about the seriousness of the disease and to reduce the number of childhood hospitalizations and deaths caused by the flu each year by increasing vaccination rates.

For more information, please visit: www.familiesfightingflu.org; like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/familiesfightingflu or follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/famfightflu

 

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu Symptoms & Complications. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/complications.htm. Accessed October 13, 2017.
2Flannery B, Reynolds SB, Blanton L, Santibanez TA. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Against Pediatric Deaths: 2010–2014. Pediatrics. 2017;139(5):1-11. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/139/5/e20164244.full.pdf.  Accessed October 6, 2017.
3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2017-2018 Influenza Season. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm. Accessed October 6, 2017.
4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Make a Strong Flu Vaccine Recommendation. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/flu-vaccine-recommendation.htm. Accessed October 6, 2017.
5Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key Facts About Influenza (Flu). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm. Accessed October 13, 2017.
6Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cold Versus Flu. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/coldflu.htm. Accessed November 2, 2017.
7Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu Vaccine Safety Information. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/general.htm. Accessed November 2, 2017.

 

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SOURCE Families Fighting Flu

PR Newswire
www.prnewswire.com

Last updated on: 08/11/2017

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