How to boost vaccination rates during the COVID-19 pandemic

(AMA, by Tanya Albert Henry) Telehealth is taking care of many patient needs, but with flu season nearing doctors won’t be able to vaccinate patients through cyberspace.

And with COVID-19 continuing to surge, it will be more important than ever to vaccinate patients against the flu to reduce the number of people using the nation’s health resources that are so heavily taxed during the pandemic.

“The more people we can get vaccinated and protected and get them out of [the health care] system, wonderful. And then, obviously, with the overlap of populations and symptoms, in terms of the two diseases, if we can have people vaccinated, that’s one less diagnostic criteria that we can look at as people come in with respiratory illness,” chief strategy officer of the Immunization Action Coalition L.J. Tan, PhD, MS, said during a recent episode of “AMA COVID-19 Update.”

With these concerns in mind—along with the knowledge that there have been pandemic-related disruptions to routine childhood vaccination—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking for physicians to start planning now for distributing the flu vaccine to patients, including those who may be wary of coming into the office for a vaccine.

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