A Review of the 2016-2017 Flu Season: Guidelines, Costs, and Barriers
In the United States (US), about 50,000 influenza-related deaths occur annually (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services [CMS], 2014). The most important preventive measure for the influenza virus is for people to obtain the influenza vaccine (Varsha et al., 2014; Uyeki, 2014). Of note, the vaccine is often underutilized; however, the influenza vaccine is recommended as an annual part of preventive care for people who are >6 months of age (United States Government of Health and Human Services, 2015; Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016; World Health Organization [WHO], 2016). The under-vaccination of patients with the influenza vaccine is a profound issue, especially in rural communities, which is defined as locations populated by fewer than 50,000 people (United States Census Bureau [U.S. Census Bureau], 2015). In West Virginia, for example, a state where 38% of the population resides in rural areas, people who were insured by Medicare and whose insurance records did not manifest that they received the influenza vaccine, possessed a 170% increased risk of death during the influenza season in comparison to those who did receive the influenza vaccine (Schade & McCombs, 2000). This literature review discusses the increased need for influenza vaccination in rural communities; reviews the 2016-2017 influenza season's guidelines and costs; and in preparation for the 2017-2018 influenza season, the need to overcome barriers that are associated with influenza vaccination.
Keywords: Rural, Influenza, Flu, Flu Shot, Flushot, Influenza Vaccine, Guidelines, Costs
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).