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Protecting extended care residents from flu

Each year, approximately 8% of the US population gets sick from flu, but older adults are especially vulnerable.1

Here are four ways you can help protect your extended care residents and staff from flu.


1 | Comply with state and federal regulations: F-883 influenza & pneumonia immunizations

The F-883 tag is meant to help lower the risk of residents acquiring, transmitting or experiencing complications from flu by ensuring that the resident:

  • Is informed about the benefits and potential risks of immunization
  • Is immunized between October 1 and March 31 (unless the resident is medically contraindicated, refuses immunization or was already immunized that year)
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends giving the flu vaccine when it becomes available rather than on a specific date
  • Has documentation in their medical record that they received information about the benefits/risks of immunization and either received or refused/have medical contraindications to the vaccine(s)
    • Surveyors will review resident records for this information

2 | Educate staff and residents on available vaccine options

  • There are three general presentations:
    • Intranasal sprays (preservative-free)
    • Multi-dose vials (contain preservatives)
    • Pre-filled syringes (preservative-free)
  • There are two general culture media:
    • Egg-based – more cost effective; most prevalent vaccine until recently
    • Cell/DNA-based – higher effectiveness, as the virus has no opportunity to interact with poultry egg
  • There are two general target populations:
    • General population: from ages 6 months and up
      • No restriction on maximum age
    • Geriatric population: aimed at patients 65 years and older
      • Vaccines are specially formulated for compromised immune systems and use either higher dose concentration or adjuvants to create stronger immune response

3 | Establish a vaccine storage protocol

  • Over-communicate with your flu vaccine provider as the date for vaccine delivery approaches
    • Our Flu Connection team contacts customers upon vaccine shipment, with detailed information about arrival times
  • Designate a single individual, or small group of employees, as designated “vaccine handlers” who will take receipt of vaccine deliveries
    • Don’t allow unspecified staff to sign for vaccines
  • Keep vaccines in a dedicated refrigerator (preferably with an external display thermometer) within the target maintenance temperature range of 36-46°F2
    • Don’t allow newly received vaccines to stay in non-refrigerated areas longer than necessary
  • Provide a consistent organization model for vaccine storage2
    • Use separate bins or shelves for vaccines
    • Stock vaccines according to expiration date, beginning with batches closest to expiration
    • Keep vaccines in their original boxes to prevent light exposure

4 | Establish vaccine administration protocols

  • For new residents, review their vaccination history in case they received the flu vaccine prior to being admitted to your facility
  • Screen residents for contraindications and precautions before administering vaccines, even if the resident received the same vaccine before; a resident’s health status or the recommendations for contraindications/precautions could have changed since they were last vaccinated
  • Provide comprehensive vaccine information to the resident and the resident’s representative with immunizations & allow for questions
  • Use aseptic techniques and follow infection prevention guidelines to help maintain vaccine integrity when transferring from a vial to a syringe
  • Follow the recommended administration route and site for vaccines, found on the manufacturer’s package insert; not following the recommended route may reduce vaccine efficacy or increase local adverse reactions
  • Monitor residents for side effects such as injection site pain, fever or fussiness after immunization
  • Record the vaccine education and immunization in the resident’s medical record (can be in electronic or paper form); documentation is required by law

Flu Vaccine Package Inserts for 2020-2021 Season


McKesson FluWise®

McKesson FluWise® is our year-round program to help you prepare for your flu need. Get access to:

  • Our dedicated flu team, here to help you along the way
  • A variety of vaccines to care for your patients
  • Our flu pre-book program, beginning around January
  • Our in-season sales, beginning around September
  • Our catalog of ancillary products such as needles, syringes, flu test kits, etc.
  • Our monthly FluWise newsletter

Contact the Flu Connection team today (1-855-888-8358 or fluconnection@mckesson.com) to learn more about how we can help with your flu needs.