ELKRIDGE, MD (September 27, 2017) – On Thursday, Sept. 28, MedStar Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) participated in the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) 2017 Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference by offering flu vaccinations to those in attendance. Each year, NFID holds a press conference in collaboration with health officials like US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Thomas E. Price, MD, NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD, and other leading medical and public health experts to urge public and healthcare professionals to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that everyone age six months and older be vaccinated against influenza every year.
During the conference, Dr. Price said, “While we don’t know what this season has in store, the science on flu vaccination is clear. Vaccination can help prevent you or someone you love from becoming sick and missing school or work, or worse, becoming severely ill or being hospitalized from or even dying from flu.” To lead by example, Dr. Price stood on the podium to receive his own flu vaccination from a MedStar VNA nurse.
CDC estimates annual influenza vaccination coverage for the United States to be at 46.8%, meaning that less than half of the country is protected from contracting influenza. During the 2016-17 flu season, the vaccination rate for the 65 and older age group was 65.3 percent. Since MedStar VNA’s patient population is predominantly senior citizens, MedStar VNA encourages patients to follow CDC recommendations and receive the vaccine. “As we age, our immune systems weaken. We are more prone to infection and disease, and as a result, at an even higher risk for developing severe flu symptoms and complications, explained Ashley McFarland, director of Immunization and Wellness at MedStar VNA. MedStar VNA’s community outreach division vaccinates over 6,000 community members each year.
To learn more about influenza recommendations, please visit the CDC website: www.cdc.gov. For information about where to receive a flu vaccination, call MedStar VNA at 800-231-3201.
About MedStar Visiting Nurse Association
MedStar VNA, a non-profit, Joint Commission accredited, in-home healthcare provider, offers skilled nursing, rehabilitation and infusion therapy for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in the Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia region. To support good health in the community, MedStar VNA offers vaccination and wellness programs across the region. For more information about MedStar VNA, call 800-862-2166 or visit medstarvna.org