During December, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) recognizes National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 5-11, 2021). It is recommended that all people 6 months and older receive an influenza vaccination, also known as flu shot.
The flu is shown to disproportionately impact communities of color, with Black (69 per 100,000), American Indian or Alaskan Native (49 per 100,000), and Hispanic Americans (45 per 100,000) having higher flu-related hospitalization rates than White Americans (38 per 100,000). In addition to being disproportionately impacted by the flu, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, and Hispanic Americans also have lower flu vaccination rates than White Americans.
As we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting a flu shot remains an important part of protecting yourself. While research on the commonality of catching the flu and COVID-19 at the same time is ongoing, it is possible to catch both. The symptoms for both are also the same, which makes it hard to tell the difference if you’re simply using symptoms.
During National Influenza Vaccination Week, CMS OMH is highlighting the importance of getting vaccinated. As part of this commitment, we’re sharing the resources below to help you encourage flu vaccines.
Pediatric Vaccine Partner Webinar
On Thursday, December 9, 2021 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET, CMS OMH and the Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign will be hosting a Pediatric Vaccine Partner Webinar. The webinar will offer attendees the opportunity to learn more about newly released recommendations on COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11, federal COVID-19 resources, and more. Register today.
- Visit our Immunization and Vaccine Resources webpage to find flu and immunization resources for health care providers, partners, and patients.
- Review the CMS Flu Vaccine Partner Toolkit to find the latest flu vaccine materials from CMS and other federal agencies that you can share.
- View the Coverage to Care Prevention Resources webpage to find out about the services, including vaccinations, that are available at no cost under most health coverage. These resources are also available in 7 other languages.
- Download our Annual Influenza Vaccination Disparities in Medicare Beneficiaries data snapshot, which provides an overview of who should get the flu vaccine and information about flu vaccine disparities in Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries.
- Visit cms.gov/flu for a complete list of CMS flu vaccine resources.