The key role of practice nurses in protecting adults 65 years and older against influenza - Australian Practice Nurses Association
Up to one fifth of the general community can be affected by seasonal influenza (flu), an acute respiratory infection, each year. Adults aged 65 years and over who become infected with the flu have a greatly increased risk of complications from influenza compared to younger adults.
Hospitalisation and death as a result of influenza infection is also more common among high-risk groups. Most deaths associated with influenza in Australia tend to occur in older individuals.
The most important intervention to prevent influenza and its complications is annual vaccination. One yearly dose of the flu vaccine for people aged 65 years and over is currently recommended by Australian immunisation guidelines. Providing older adults with the influenza vaccine can reduce the severity of disease, the rate of hospital admission due to influenza and pneumonia, and all-cause mortality.
This activity has been endorsed by APNA according to approved quality standards criteria. Completion of this educational activity entitles eligible participants to claim 1CPD Hour(s).
Magali De Castro
RN, Clinical Director, Hotdoc Online, Melbourne
After completing this education, nurses will be better able to:
- Describe the challenges facing older adults with regard to influenza vaccines, including immunosenescence and antigenic drift and how these impact on the spread of influenza in the community
- Identify barriers to vaccination uptake by older Australians, and implement approaches to overcome these patient barriers to influenza vaccination
- Identify patient groups which would benefit from enhanced trivalent vaccines
- Counsel patients on the efficacy and safety of the MF59 adjuvant in the enhanced trivalent flu vaccine listed on the National Immunisation Program in 2019, and contrast it with other influenza vaccines available in Australia