Get vaccinated! Influenza vaccination is the best way to reduce chances of getting ill from influenza and from giving influenza to patients, co-workers and family. Indications are that vaccination against seasonal influenza at least partially protects against possible pandemic influenza strains. Also consider this: if one third of the population receives its annual shot with a trivalent vaccine, there will be enough capacity to produce monovalent vaccines to cover the entire population. Follow infection control recommendations such as:
- cover the nose/mouth when coughing or sneezing,
- use tissues to contain respiratory secretions and dispose of them in the nearest waste receptacle after use,
- perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
Encourage your patients to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza. Proactive behaviour of family physicians and nurses has proven to be the key driver to improved vaccination coverage in at-risk groups. Your recommendation saves lives.