The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of the 2020-21 flu vaccination campaign. Recent research suggests that having flu and COVID-19 doubles the risk of death, which is why promoting flu vaccination is so critical this season.
Improving flu vaccination coverage rates in children and adults and reducing racial and ethnic disparities will require the involvement of public health immunization programs to identify their jurisdiction’s most pressing issues and deploy strategies to address them. The 2020-21 flu vaccination season provides an opportunity for enhanced program efforts to facilitate more efficient and effective administration of flu vaccine and to prepare for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
“We need to keep the focus on flu, throughout and into the ‘late season,’” says AIM Research and Development Director Katelyn Wells. “While public health must focus on COVID-19 vaccination preparation, achieving high flu coverage will help keep our nation’s health system afloat by keeping hospitalizations down and keeping health care workers healthy.”
Leaders of the 64 state, local, and territorial immunization programs—which stand as the backbone of the U.S. immunization system—share the lessons learned that they will continue to utilize throughout this the flu season in a newly released white paper, “Flu Vaccination in a Pandemic: Leadership Lessons from Public Health Immunization Programs.” Leaders have identified four key elements of a successful flu vaccination campaign.