Diane M. Sosovec, RN, MS is a Program Manager, Department of Education at Joint Commission Resources.
It's that time of year again. Here in the Philadelphia region, the temperature has dropped, sweaters are out, and retail stores are filled with holiday decor....and many have signs hailing "Get your flu shot here!" There are important reasons the flu message should stand out from the rest of the holiday noise: The flu is a contagious and potentially deadly infection that causes thousands of hospitalizations and deaths each year.
For the third year, we've teamed up with GSK for the Flu Vaccination Challenge--a nationwide effort to increase healthcare worker vaccination.
We are so excited that over 1,100 organizations have joined so far, surpassing the number of participants from each of the last two years. This year, healthcare organizations are challenged to reach a vaccination rate of 75 percent or higher among their staff, compared to the national healthcare worker average of 56.6%.
The level of engagement from our participants has been truly inspiring and we hope to keep the momentum going! The flu season typically peaks in February and can last as late as May, so it's definitely not too late for organizations to join.
Healthcare workers are a key part of the equation, but the CDC encourages everyone over the age of 6 months to get their flu vaccination this season. In fact, this week is the CDC's National Influenza Vaccination Week--a national observance of the importance of flu vaccination and a reminder that it's not too late to get vaccinated. I've rolled up my sleeve, have you?
Best wishes for a happy and healthy season! Learn more about the campaign at www.FluVaccinationChallenge.com.
GlaxoSmithKline has provided funding and other support for the Flu Vaccination Challenge.