Get Ready for Flu Season

Get Ready for Flu Season

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Flu vaccination season is here. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a bacteria that can cause pneumonia and middle ear infections, as well as invasive pneumococcal disease, which includes bloodstream infections and meningitis.  People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A) are at higher risk of invasive pneumococcal disease than the general population. Below are some tips and thoughts for Ryan White agencies:

  • PLWH/A should receive two different vaccines to help prevent invasive pneumococcal disease, according to recent recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). In addition to the previous recommendation that immunocompromised adults 19 years of age and older (including PLWH) receive Pneumovax 23 (23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or PPSV23), the ACIP now recommends the addition of Prevnar 13 (13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or PCV13). Ryan White clinics should have a plan for the distribution of flu vaccines and a means for ensuring that all HIV-infected patients are vaccinated.
  • Health care providers should also get the flu vaccine to help prevent transmitting flu to patients and co-workers. Ryan White clinics should have policies about flu vaccines for their workers.

To learn more, see can be shared with patients and the CDC website on Influenza and HIV/AIDS, including free resources (e.g., posters designed for people living with HIV/AIDS).

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