In the 2020-2021 flu season, it is more important than ever that our patients get vaccinated against the flu. By reducing flu illness, medical visits, and hospitalizations, we can preserve health care resources for those who are sick with COVID-19. You are one of the most trusted information sources and play an important role in encouraging your patients to get their flu vaccine. In order to help you with your special role, we have compiled resources for you to use along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Health Care Provider Fight Flu Toolkit and our editable Influenza Vaccine Resources, P-02781. Please share this information widely so we can improve flu vaccination rates and reduce the spread of influenza.
Prepare your practice for flu season
This flu season will be different than years past. One of the biggest changes is that providers need to be planning to vaccinate against influenza well into late winter. It's not too late to make sure you have reviewed and incorporated CDC's guidance and recommendations for this flu season.
- Make sure you have reviewed the 2020-2021 Advisory Council on Immunization Practices flu vaccine recommendations.
- Review guidance for safe vaccination at health care provider offices, large-scale off-site clinics, and/or pharmacies during a pandemic.
- Read up on other flu information for health care professionals on the 2020-2021 flu season.
Education and Outreach
When trying to reach patients and increase their flu vaccination uptake, both patient education and patient outreach are important. Patient education mostly entails sharing the importance of flu while patients are in your offices, whereas patient outreach is important to remind patients to come in to your offices to get their vaccines.
Strong Vaccine Recommendations
Your trusted voices can make all the difference in increasing vaccination rates.
- Learn how to make a strong influenza vaccine recommendation and share these best practices with your staff.
- Use DHS’ CASE method to make the CASE for vaccination, P-02718.
- Communicate the importance of the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Share personal stories of those impacted by flu, because not everyone is convinced by facts and data.
- Get familiar with 2020-2021 frequently asked flu questions and key facts and questions.
Posters, Infographics, and Factsheets
- You can print CDC's posters and print materials, infographics, and factsheets in different sizes, formats, and languages for different audiences. Or order up to 50 free hard copy materials (like coloring books, stickers, postcards and more in English or Spanish) from Families Fighting Flu!
- Share our DHS factsheet about the importance of the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- You can also put animated images, videos, or trivia questions on TVs in waiting or exam rooms or upload them to your website.
- Looking for other resources or posters for your office? Check out the Wisconsin Influenza Prevention page, Los Angeles’ Department of Public Health’s posters, or the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s innovative education resources.
Social Media Posts
- Share these sample messages and images on your social media platforms.
- Do your patients need more of a nudge? Have them text VaxYourFam to 47177 to receive text reminders to get their flu vaccine.
- Please also include information on free or lower-cost vaccine programs you have for the uninsured or underinsured.
- See below (in Additional Information and Resources) for more flu outreach materials.
Website Additions and Support
Appointment Reminder Templates
- Create reminder/recall notices through the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) to set up call, text, and email reminders to help your patients stay on top of their vaccinations.
- Send CDC’s email template to remind your patients to schedule appointments for their influenza vaccines.
- Customize the Association of Immunization Manager’s immunization postcards to remind your patients that they can call you to make appointments, and to let them know that you have COVID-related safety precautions in place to provide vaccinations safely.
- Vaccine composition for the 2020-21 season
- Target groups for vaccination and timing
- Supply and distribution questions and answers
- Vaccine dosage and administration questions and answers
- Vaccine administration toolkit
- Storage and handling toolkit
- Maintaining the cold chain for vaccines
- Vaccine Information Statements (VIS)
- Additional CDC guidance resources for all these topics and more
- General resources around vaccine administration and other best practices and recommendations
- Review quality improvement of immunization practices to reduce missed opportunities in many ways including vaccinating at every opportunity and engaging in proactive scheduling.
- Use WIR to forecast upcoming vaccines for the same day appointment or an upcoming appointment and send patients reminder recall notices.
- Implement standing orders in your office.
- Additional steps for QI:
- Explore more resources for increasing vaccination rates for specific populations.
- Share these provider education resources with your entire office.
- Check out CDC’s quality improvement projects ideas and resources.
- Examine the existence of any physical and system-based barriers to vaccination at your office.
Additional Information and Resources
- Find more flu-related information and resources from CDC, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Immunization Action Coalition.
- Explore CDC's Pink Book: Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
- Ad Council Flu vaccine resources for partners to use and share to promote influenza vaccination.
- Learn more about the No One Has Time for Flu campaign in this press release and fact sheet.
- One stop shop flu vaccine webpage in English and Spanish
- Campaign Toolkit
Questions about these resources? Contact us!
Stephanie Borchardt, Wisconsin Immunization Program Epidemiologist