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With months of the flu season still ahead and the rate of new cases continuing to rise across the country, now is the time to step up efforts to immunize as many patients as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that outpatient visits for flu-like symptoms are up 3.4% compared with this point in last year’s flu season. Further, more than 1,300 people were hospitalized between October and December (the month when incidence just starts to really take off, typically). It’s critical from a community health standpoint that you ask every patient you see whether they have had a flu shot this year, and to offer one to them if they’re unprotected. Doing so has the added benefit of letting them know that your urgent care center can support preventive medicine efforts, not just be a convenient destination when they wake up with a sore throat and a fever. It may also help to inform patients that the CDC says this year’s vaccine seems to be a good match for the current strain of the virus (with influenza A [H3N2] being the most prevalent). Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Utah have all reported high flu activity.

Time to Turn Up the Volume on Flu Shot Promotions
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