FAQs about Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccines
Why is Doylestown Hospital asking all in-patients about their vaccine history?
PA State Law Act 86 of 2004 requires that we screen patients for their vaccine history and provide the vaccine if the patient is eligible and agreeable.
For years, Doylestown Hospital has asked patients over 65 and those at high-risk for the flu or pneumococcal disease if they've been vaccinated. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are requiring hospitals to expand the vaccinations for in-patients to include more patients and those at younger ages.
More importantly, these vaccines are preventative measures that can greatly reduce illness and death related to influenza and pneumococcal disease.
Who will be screened and offered the vaccines?
- All in-patients age 6 and above will be screened for neumococcal vaccine history and offered the vaccine if eligible.
- All in-patients age 9 and above will be screened for influenza vaccine history and offered the vaccine if eligible.
Are these vaccines safe? Do the shots work?
The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. The vaccine is a safe way to protect yourself from the flu and its potentially serious complications. The flu shot cannot give you the flu (since it's made from a killed or "inactivated" virus). Protection lasts about a year.
The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine protects against 23 different types of pneumococcal organisms, and it is indeed safe and effective. Studies suggest vaccination will prevent between 50 to 80 percent of cases of so-called invasive pneumococcal disease.
What if I can't remember if I've gotten either or both of these vaccines?
You will still be offered the vaccine if you are eligible. You have the option of receiving (if you are eligible) or declining the vaccine. If you decline and then change your mind, you will still be able to get the vaccine while you're at the hospital.
Why won't I get the flu vaccine if I have a fever of greater than 100.3º?
Because you might not be able to develop a strong immune response and get the most benefit from the vaccine while you have a fever. Once your fever goes down, you may be able to get the shot.