Flu Season Updates 2010 - '11
Amerigroup Community Care appreciates your partnership in caring for our members as we move into another flu season. We are pleased to present the first installment of our provider communication series designed to support your treatment and education efforts during the 2010 – 2011 flu season.
The contents of this communication are supported by information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). We recommend that you check the CDC web site, www.cdc.gov/flu, for the latest information and developments.
CDC/ACIP 2010 - 2011 Recommendations and Reminders for Flu Vaccines
- Annual influenza vaccination is expanded to include all persons 6 months of age and older who do not have contraindications to vaccination; the previous recommendation was for vaccination of children from 6 months to 18 years of age.
- Continued annual vaccination of all children age 6 months to 8 years; those who receive the influenza vaccine for the first time should receive two doses.
- The 2010 – 2011 trivalent vaccine virus strains are A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like, A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like and B/Brisbane 60/2008-like antigens.
- Persons age 50 and older should get an influenza shot each year and a pneumococcal shot after age 65.
- Pneumovax® and Pnu-Immune® are 23-valent polysaccharide vaccines (PPV23) (renamed PPSV) and should be used for all adults age 65 years and older.
- Pneumovax or PNu-Immune may be administered at the same visit as the seasonal influenza vaccine.
Please remind your patients that the H1N1 virus strain is included in the 2010 – 2011 seasonal flu vaccine.
High-risk Patients in Need of Flu Vaccines
Are you aware of patients on your Amerigroup panel who meet the CDC criteria of being at high risk for developing serious complications from the flu? If so, we urge you to contact those patients who, based on their medical histories, should receive influenza vaccinations in accordance with CDC guidelines. In a separate mailing, Amerigroup will provide you with a list of high-risk patients to consider contacting.
Pregnant Women Should Receive Flu Shots
The CDC identifies pregnant women as being at high risk for developing complications from the flu. Because of this elevated risk, the CDC recommends women who are pregnant during the flu season receive seasonal flu shots. The nasal-spray seasonal flu vaccine, which is made with live flu viruses, is not approved for pregnant women.
Amerigroup recognizes that as providers, you do more than just administer health care—you guide our members to better health. We are committed to supporting your efforts. Remember, you can find the latest flu season updates and recommendations on the CDC web site at www.cdc.gov/flu.
Thank you for your continued support!
Source: Prevention & Control of Influenza with Vaccines – Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) 2010. MMWR 2010 Jul 29; Early Release:1-62. CDC web site, www.cdc.gov/flu, updated August 30, 2010.