More than 60 million Americans live in rural areas. Rural residents receive less or inferior healthcare compared to those in other parts of the U.S., including medical check-ups and the opportunity for recommended vaccinations. The National Rural Health Association reports that provider shortages in rural areas are obstacles to regular primary care, and for children in rural areas, limited access to healthcare can also affect immunization.
Many parents schedule their children’s well-child visit, or “check-up,” during the summer months to prepare for the start of a new school year. Well-child visits are a great opportunity for providers to help parents ensure their child’s vaccinations are up to date, and to keep young patients healthy and free from vaccine-preventable illnesses.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published guidelines on recommended immunization schedules by age group, but for many Americans, additional information from a provider can help deepen understanding. Through established patient-provider relationships and medical knowledge, clinicians are in a unique position to educate patients about health decisions, including vaccinations, and research shows that patients value the advice.
With recent news reports of measles outbreaks in schools and child flu deaths, it could appear as though a large percentage of the population is forgoing vaccinations. Yet, reports from state and national organizations reveal vaccination coverage remains high among children.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) begins tracking each year's influenza, "flu," season in October, preparation begins long before autumn arrives. Providers and clinicians place advance orders, or “pre-book,” for vaccines for the upcoming flu season between January and March.
Patients and providers alike benefit from staying up-to-date with vaccines. Often, the focus is on what patients can do; today, we turn our attention to clinicians. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that clinicians periodically review the seven steps to effective vaccine administration as they play a significant role in vaccine effectiveness.
In November of 2018, a few children contracted chickenpox at the Asheville Waldorf School in Asheville, N.C. By mid-November, a local newspaper reported 36 infections—the largest outbreak in the state since the chickenpox vaccine became available.
There are credible, scientifically-backed resources that providers and patients alike can use to be informed and protected. We rounded up some of the best online resources to help providers and patients with all kinds of vaccine-related issues and questions.
It’s that time of year again – flu season. Many healthcare professionals will spend the next few months treating the thousands of patients who will contract the flu. Yet as doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals administer treatment to their patients, some may forget a vital part of preventive care – receiving their own seasonal flu vaccination.
HHS reports that an estimated 850,000 to 2.2 million people are living with HBV nationwide. With HBV vaccines available, clinicians and healthcare advocates can play a role in helping increase immunization rates and curb the spread of hepatitis B.
August is a time when parents and students prepare to return to school from summer break. Adding routine vaccinations to that preparation can help protect individual patients, particularly middle schoolers, and their classmates from vaccine-preventable disease.
Approximately 60 million American households traveled in the past year—15%, or 9 million, of those to international destinations, according to travel research company, MMGY Global. As travelers prepare for their journeys, healthcare providers have the opportunity to remind them about appropriate travel vaccinations and provide information on destination-specific health risks. Particularly for international travelers, receiving the proper vaccinations helps ensure safe and healthy travels.
Summer vacation often gives students of all ages a break from homework and classes. But, for healthcare professionals, summer appointments present an opportunity to educate young patients and parents about their recommended vaccine schedule. Providers can help patients catch up on their vaccines before they return to school to fulfill state-mandated immunization requirements and to protect patients and their fellow students from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vulnerable populations—children, seniors and homeless—are at higher risk of contracting many preventable diseases. With immunity developing, declining, or at risk, these groups are more likely to suffer from illnesses that can be prevented with vaccines. Health providers and vaccine advocates can help protect vulnerable populations by promoting vaccines to all populations and delivering vaccines to those who need it most.
Each year, vaccines save more lives than seat belts.
In 2015, The Immunization Partnership reported on the yearly impact of vaccinations. The report’s juxtaposition of seatbelts and vaccinations, both used for preventing injury, illness and death, serves as a reminder that a view of vaccinations through the lens of preventive healthcare can be a helpful and healthful perspective.