Mass Senior Care Kicks Off Fight the Flu Campaign
DPH Issues Mandatory Flu Vaccination of Long-Term Care Personnel 

As we prepare for a potential resurgence of COVID-19 this fall and winter, it is critically important for all long-term care workers to protect themselves from becoming sick with the flu by getting the flu vaccine.  As we well know, staff in long-term care facilities are at an increased risk of acquiring the flu and annual flu vaccination of both residents and staff are essential to preventing outbreaks. While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, it can protect individuals, their families and their communities from becoming sick with flu and needing medical care. The combination of flu and COVID-19 could very easily overwhelm the vulnerable residents we care for in our facilities.

Mandatory Flu Vaccination of Long-Term Care Personnel

On October 6, 2020, the Acting Commissioner of Public Health signed an Order requiring certain personnel to be vaccinated against influenza virus. All long-term care facilities licensed pursuant to G.L. c 111, § 71 must ensure that all personnel are vaccinated against influenza virus by December 31, 2020, unless such administration is medically contraindicated, which means administration of influenza vaccine is likely to be detrimental to the individual’s health, or vaccination is against the individual’s religious beliefs.  Personnel may not otherwise decline the vaccine. Personnel means an individual or individuals employed by or affiliated with the facility, whether directly, by contract with another entity, or as an independent contractor, paid or unpaid including, but not limited to, employees, members of the medical staff, contract employees or staff, students, and volunteers who either work at or come to the licensed facility site, whether or not such individual(s) provide direct care.
 

Suggested Strategies to Assist Facilities with Staff Vaccinations

  • Promote your efforts to offer flu vaccinations at your facility, click here for CDC's resources to host a flu clinic. Here are several suggested strategies to assist your facilities meet the goal:
    • Provide flu vaccination at shift change
    • Provide flu vaccination by request or on-demand
    • Partner with local public health agencies to offer flu clinics at the facility
    • Partner with local pharmacies to offer flu clinics at the facility
    • Offer flu vaccination at the same time as staff COVID-19 surveillance testing
  • Use this poster to raise awareness about the importance of essential workers getting the flu vaccine – post in public areas in your facility and on your social media outlets
  • Post and share Mass Senior Care's Fight the Flu Campaign poster 
  • Access resources for long-term care facilities from both the CDC and the Mass Department of Public Health 
  • Mass.gov has additional resources and Flu Facts on their website
  • The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) has informational flu videos in both English and Spanish. MMS is asking all eligible people, in line with guidance from the CDC, to get vaccinated for influenza this year. Because flu season can strain healthcare systems already burdened with COVID-19, the need to promote influenza vaccination could not be greater. 

New Resources from DPH (Updated October 2020)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has developed a list of references and resources for healthcare providers to support the development of influenza campaigns and to guide providers in identifying best practices for increasing Health Care Personnel (HCP) vaccination rates.

Vendors that Can Perform Onsite Immunization:

Commercial Vendor

Contact

Email

Phone

Osco Pharmacy

Anthony Desmond

Anthony.Desmond@Shaws.com

(339) 236-2771

Walgreens Pharmacy

Steve Pashko

Steve.Pashko@walgreens.com

(401) 391-1994

CVS Pharmacy

 

FluShots@CVSHealth.com

 

Health Care Personnel Influenza Vaccination References and Resources:
Many resources are available to help healthcare facilities develop influenza campaigns and identify best practices for increasing HCP vaccination rates. The following is a non-inclusive list of resources:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: