Cold and flu season is upon us, and we already know what kind of toll it is likely to take.
Cold and flu season is upon us, and we already know what kind of toll it is likely to take. About 40% of Americans have missed a major life event because of flu symptoms, according to a recent CVS survey. Alarmingly, 67% of working Americans reported they would go to work even if they had flu-like symptoms. In addition, US adults get 2 or 3 colds per year, and children get even more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As you well know, individuals with a cold or the flu are likely to visit their pharmacy to find relief, putting pharmacists on the front line of efforts to prevent and manage colds and the flu, primarily through patient education and administration of flu vaccinations.
For this flu season, the CDC has urged pharmacists to recognize their key role in promoting influenza immunizations. Because of the low efficacy of last season’s flu vaccine, pharmacists may have to work harder to encourage patients to get immunized. The following practice standards developed by the CDC can help pharmacists maximize their potential to curb the spread of the flu and other vaccine-preventable illnesses:
Motivating those who need the flu vaccine the most can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, health care providers and public health officials should adjust their communication techniques, according to an article published in Vaccine.1 The authors suggest health care professionals do the following:
For its part in the fight against colds and the flu, Pharmacy Times offers this Cough, Cold, and Flu issue to provide prevention and treatment strategies for you and your patients. The features include “Fighting the Flu: Your Best Defenses,” “Whooping Cough: An Unwelcome Return,” and “Upper Respiratory Infections: The Lowdown.” Armed with the latest information and best practices, you will be well prepared to help yourself and your patients stay healthy throughout this cold and flu season.
Thank you for reading!
Chairman and CEO