As part of ACOG's continuing efforts to promote influenza vaccination, ACOG encourages all District and Section leaders to use their annual meetings as an opportunity to remind members about communicating the importance of flu vaccination to patients, especially your pregnant patients. This flu season, ACOG encourages you to lead by example by educating and vaccinating yourself, your staff, and your patients against influenza. While flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, we know that they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths and help alleviate the burden on the health care system.
The CDC developed a list of actions you can recommend to your patients as part of the "Take 3 approach" to help them fight the flu.
- Take time to get a flu vaccine.
- Take every-day preventive actions (eg, avoiding people who are sick, staying home when you are sick, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and washing your hands often) that may slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses such as flu.
- If you get sick with flu, take prescription antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Early treatment is especially important for the elderly, the very young, people with certain chronic health conditions, and pregnant patients.
In addition to these three steps outlined by the CDC to prevent influenza, ACOG encourages individuals to continue to follow state and local recommendations regarding physical distancing and the use of masks to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses. Do not let your guard down when it comes to prevention of COVID-19.
Visit ACOG’s Seasonal Influenza web page for more useful resources to assist you throughout this upcoming flu season.