Emergency Nurses Association Supports Focus on High-Risk Patients for Flu Vaccine

CHICAGO -- Because of the national shortage of flu vaccine this season, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) today announced its full support of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)s nationwide call to prioritize flu vaccination for high-risk patients. In addition, the ENA is encouraging all flu vaccine distributors to comply with the CDCs guidelines.


We are encouraging all citizens who are not at high risk for flu complications to forgo vaccination so that those with the highest risk for serious illness or death can receive flu shots, said Mary Ellen Wilson, RN, 2004 ENA president.  The ENAs position on this issue reflects our mission to ensure all patients are treated with compassion and respect.


Those at highest priority for flu vaccine include:


-- Adults 65 years and older;

-- All children 6 to 23 months;

-- Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;

-- Adults and children 2 years and older who have chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma;

-- Adults and children 2 years and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of a metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system

-- Children on long-term aspirin therapy;

-- Pregnant women during the influenza season;

-- Healthcare workers with direct patient contact; and

-- Direct contacts of those less than 6 months of age


In accordance with the CDCs guidelines, the ENA has asked all its employees who are not considered high risk to defer company-provided vaccinations so that vaccine can be donated to local public health outlets.            


The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the only professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing and emergency care through advocacy, expertise, innovation, and leadership.


Source: ENA