The purpose of this document is to provide important information regarding immunization for influenza and pneumococcal disease.
Health and residential care providers are encouraged to evaluate the immunization status of all individuals to whom they provide care and assistance and to facilitate increased immunization.
Most elderly and other at-risk populations do not live in nursing homes or facilities for the developmentally disabled. Therefore, it is especially important that all types of health and residential care providers address this issue.
The information and resources provided here convey facts that can be used to overcome barriers and correct misconceptions that often hinder people from becoming immunized.
If providers encounter difficulties with the influenza vaccine they may contact the Wisconsin Influenza Coordinator, Tom Haupt at 608-266-5326.
Providers should actively encourage life-saving immunizations by consistently following the three important steps below:
- Educate clients, residents, patients and staff about the benefits of immunizations.
- Facilitate access to immunizations for clients, residents, patients, and staff. Public health departments are often interested in providers offering areas for them to set up immunization clinics.
- Set an Example. People in leadership positions should be immunized and they should also encourage employees to be immunized.
- Some providers encourage their employees using the phrase, "You don’t get it for yourself, you get it for the residents."
- For most people in the adult work force, influenza can mean a miserable illness and perhaps lost wages, but most healthy adults recover.
- However, when employees have highly communicable illnesses, such as influenza, the chances are great that these illnesses will be passed on to clients, patients and residents, placing many vulnerable people at increased risk of a potentially deadly illness.
- CDC Influenza Infection Control in Health Care Facilities
- Reporting, prevention and control of acute respiratory illness outbreaks in long-term facilities (PDF)
Resources for Additional Information
- People at High Risk for Developing Flu Related Complications
- Diabetes - CDC Diabetes and Flu/Pneumococcal – specific considerations of the person with diabetes. Additional information is available through the Wisconsin Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.
Local Public Health Departments – Contact your local public health department for information regarding vaccination clinics.
Division of Quality Assurance – Questions may be directed to the following contacts in the Division of Quality Assurance.
- Nursing homes and facilities serving people with developmental disabilities should contact the appropriate Bureau of Nursing Home Resident Care regional office.
- Community-based residential facilities, adult family homes, adult day care providers and residential care apartment complexes should contact the appropriate Bureau of Assisted Living regional office.
- All other providers should contact the Bureau of Health Services, Cremear Mims, Director, phone: 608-243-2028.