New Poll Shows Adults Want Nursing Homes, Care Facilities To Require Flu Shots

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LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami) – A new poll suggests that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities should do more to protect against the flu.

Clinical nurse specialist Paula Anton knows how dangerous the flu can be.

“Most of the patients that we have are chronically ill, so we want them to receive the vaccine,” Anton said. “We ask the staff in the hospital to receive the vaccine as well.”

Anton works at the University of Michigan where researchers conducted a national poll on the flu vaccine.

It shows most older adults want nursing homes and other facilities to require flu shots for staff and patients.

Infectious Disease Dr. Preeti Malani says protecting the most vulnerable groups in these places is critical.

“They are the ones that are most likely to have complications including hospitalizations as well as death,” Dr. Malani said. “We mostly worry about seriously respiratory illnesses and specifically pneumonia.”

Flu is ramping up around the country. 36 states including California are now reporting widespread activity.

The CDC says influenza A viruses H3N2 are dominating this season. H3N2 typically causes increased hospitalizations and deaths in older adults and young children and vaccines can be less effective.

“There are some seasons where the vaccine isn’t going to be as good as others but it’s still important to get a vaccine each year and to plan ahead,” said Dr. Malani.

Dr. Malani also says if you haven’t had your vaccine yet it’s not too late.

More than 10 children have died from the flu this season.