Have These Patients Been Immunized Appropriately?

A Case-Based Challenge

Robert H. Hopkins, Jr., MD


August 06, 2014

Influenza Risk

Diabetes is a well-established risk factor for more severe influenza disease, as are a number of other chronic medical conditions. Many patients, even those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, perceive themselves as "healthy" and not in need of vaccination. The value and benefits of annual influenza vaccination -- and all adult vaccinations -- need to be understood by all members of the healthcare team in ambulatory and office settings. Engagements of the entire team in advocating for vaccination and the use of standing orders to facilitate vaccination are important components in a strategy aimed at prevention of vaccine-preventable disease. In addition, research has demonstrated that a strong recommendation from the physician or other healthcare provider is one of the most potent stimuli to overcome vaccine resistance.[2,3,4]

Online Resources

The CDC provides numerous resources for adult immunization. The Standards for Adult Immunization Practice outline important steps and provide helpful patient questionnaires and educational tools, all available for download and distribution. The 2014 adult immunization schedule can also be downloaded as well as displayed on individual practice Websites.


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