What Inspires Nurses to Get a Flu Vaccine?
By this time, you've either had the flu, cared for a patient with the flu or know a friend or loved one who has been laid up for days with it. With the exception of California, Mississippi and Hawaii, all 50 states are reporting wide spread flu activity. Many of our clinics and hospitals are packed with patients because of this increase.
Where I work, we've seen a 60 percent increase in staff taking flu shots this week compared to the same time in 2012. Our methods for administering vaccine haven't changed and our educational message is the same. So what accounts for this increase? I think people are reacting to the big effect the flu is having this season - when you see the severe impact it has on people and loved ones, the reluctant staff have become motivated to get immunized.
So even if you have refused the vaccine for the 10th time this season, it's still worth taking one now. Even though it may not offer full protection, the vaccine may help you avoid the more serious consequences of the flu such as pneumonia and hospitalization.
It seems like Internet searches are an accurate way of trending flu activity. By tracking Google searches for flu related terms - symptoms, remedies - Google has accurately mimicked the prevalence of flu as determined by the CDC since 2004. At the Google.org flu trend website you can see graphs from 19 countries that show curves for flu activity-it's uncannily similar to the actual results from the CDC. This model may prove to be a useful early surveillance method of other infectious diseases.