The CDC is encouraging Americans to get their flu shot early this year, by the end of October if possible. Children who may need two doses of the flu vaccine should start even earlier, because four weeks are needed between doses.
Will COVID Vaccine Hesitancy Impact Flu Season?
Around the world, COVID-19 vaccination outreach efforts this year have shined a spotlight on how difficult it can be to ensure all patients receive the quality information they need to make informed decisions about their health. It’s important to start planning your flu shot patient outreach strategy now, to help ensure your patients get the information they need to plan for flu vaccination before October.
The CDC estimates that flu vaccinations in the U.S. were up last year, to 50-55% of adults from 48% the previous year. With hospitals feeling the impact of rising COVID-19 infections in the U.S. however, it’s more important than ever to get patients vaccinated against the flu. One key audience for your team’s flu shot outreach this year are patients 65 and older, who are at high risk for serious health complications from the flu.
Pro-tip : Curating target audience lists based on unique criteria simplifies your patient outreach strategy and increases engagement and effectiveness.
Here are a few ways to improve your outreach strategy before flu season this year:
- Identify and assess your current patient education and outreach methods and channel
- -check out our previous blog post: Four Steps to Improving Patient Education
- Collect feedback to learn how patients want to receive information
- Adapt materials to meet the needs of individual patient groups
- Target outreach to select groups using technology to reduce administrative burdens
- Deliver education materials in more than one way, including online videos and downloadable pamphlets
When it comes to educating patients about the flu vaccine this year, new strategies may be needed to combat new fears and anxiety about vaccines. The Public Health Communications Collaborative provides a guide on how to manage and counter misinformation about vaccines. The free resource offers recommendations in four phases — prepare, listen, understand, and engage. One obstacle that must be considered is language barriers. The CDC offers patient education materials in Spanish, including social media toolkits.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that most rural Americans (86%) trust their own doctor or healthcare provider to provide reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines. Healthcare providers have a significant impact on what information their patients receive and understand about their health and it’s crucial that your patients receive timely information about the importance of the flu shot this year.
Topics: Vital Interaction