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Influenza vaccination

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine (IIV, RIV4, or LAIV4) with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.

Table of Contents

General resources

The CDC has released the ACIP flu recommendations in this report: Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2020–21 Influenza Season. You may review a summary of the new flu recommendations, or the 4-page pdf summary document, suitable for printing.

See the Massachusetts Department of Public Health flu formulation table for information about vaccination by age, dose and manufacture, or visit our vaccine composition link for the latest information about the contents of this years vaccine. For details on how to order your flu vaccine through the year, see below.

The CDC Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Resources for Health Professionals resource page has information about the current influenza season, dosage and administration, vaccine composition, storage and handling, target groups for vaccination, supply and distribution, effectiveness and safety, and patient education.

The CDC Strategies for Increasing Adult Vaccination Rates resource page highlights strategies to increase adult vaccination rates, including making a strong recommendation, reminder systems, and how to improve coverage rates for high-risk populations.

The CDC Flu Vaccine Safety Summary for Clinicians page reviews seasonal influenza safety resources including key facts and safety associated with each type of vaccine.

Planning clinics and campaigns

MDPH developed Guidelines for Immunization Clinics to assist in the planning and operation of vaccination clinics, including annual flu clinics, school-based clinics, and vaccination clinics in response to small-scale emergencies. This document summarizes key points in running a successful clinic, and provides links to many other useful resources.

CDC also has a clinic resource page entitled CDC Guidelines for Large-Scale Influenza Vaccination Clinic Planning, which outlines the logistics and considerations needed to plan a high-volume vaccination clinic.

Public providers interested in holding vaccination clinics may benefit from enrolling in the Vaccine Reimbursement Program for Public Providers. Commonwealth Medicine, the health care consulting division of UMass Medical School, manages this program that reimburses public providers for vaccines and their administration by billing health plans. In addition, the MassHealth Flu and Adult Vaccine Program for Local Public Health Providers provides information on the flu and adult vaccine reimbursement program, with instructions on how to enroll as a MassHealth provider, billing information, and other helpful resources.

Screening forms

Always screen patients for contraindications and precautions before a vaccine is administered, even if the same vaccine was administered previously. A patient’s health status or the recommendations for contraindications and precautions may have changed since the last dose was given. Screening helps prevent adverse reactions, such as anaphylaxis. At each visit, use a standardized screening tool to assess patients consistently and correctly. Screening forms can be found at the Immunization Action Coalition website.

MDPH Flu Consent and Screening Form: MDPH has created sample influenza vaccine consent and screening forms. Such forms are intended to be used in settings where children are vaccinated and the parent/legal guardian is not present. Such setting might include, but are not limited to, school-based clinics, public clinics, or visits to practices when the child is unaccompanied by their parent/legal guardian and no other general consent-to-treat is in place.

Clinic Vaccine Administration Record (DOC) is an important tool for vaccination clinics. It serves as a centralized location to keep track of required documentation for vaccinations, including brand and lot number of vaccine administered, dose, and route of administration.

The Withdrawal of Permission Sample Form for Schools  can be modified by districts/schools to fit their needs. It can be used for parents to withdraw previously given permission for a child to receive a vaccination at school. 

MDPH has developed Model Standing Orders for influenza and other vaccine preventable diseases.

For guidance on how to properly store vaccines, please visit the Vaccine Management page as well as the CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit.

Influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel (HCP)

Healthcare personnel are at high risk for influenza exposure and illness, and may be a source of influenza virus transmission in healthcare settings. Annual influenza vaccination is the best method of preventing influenza and potentially serious complications. The current Healthy People 2020 goal for influenza vaccination among healthcare personnel is 90%. Visit Influenza Vaccination Information for Health Care Workers for more information on the benefits of vaccination and statistics by health care profession. The 2006 MMWR focused on Influenza Vaccination of Health-Care Personnel, and the Recommendations of the HICPAC and ACIP  cover influenza vaccination of healthcare professionals. You may also review the Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Health Care Personnel during the 2018-19 influenza season.

As a condition of licensure, MDPH regulations require health care facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, dialysis centers, clinics, nursing homes, rest homes, and adult day health programs to offer free-of-charge, annual influenza vaccine to all personnel (full and part-time employees, contracted employees, volunteers, house staff, and students), and document receipt of influenza vaccine administered and declination of immunization. Licensed facilities are also required to report information to MDPH documenting compliance with the vaccination requirement. You may find more information in this circular letter. Read the MDPH flu vaccination report for healthcare personnel.

MDPH also has a website with hospital circular letters related to season influenza vaccination requirements for health care personnel.

Contact

Phone

Infectious Disease Division (617) 983-6550
Urgent calls and infectious disease reporting (617) 983–6800
Laboratory Sciences Division (617) 983–6201

Fax

Infectious Disease Division (617) 983–6925
Laboratory Sciences Division (617) 983–6210

Address

State Public Health Laboratory
305 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
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