Category: Immunizations

Mac Toolkits; Transplant, Transitions, Medications

The National Forum of ESRD Networks has introduced or updated several Medical Advisory Council (MAC) Toolkits. Two new Kits include the Transplant Toolkit and the Medication Conversion Toolkit. The Transitions of Care Toolkit was updated in mid-April. Find them all at, along with the existing Home Dialysis Toolkit, Medical Directors Toolkit, QAPI Toolkit, Medication Reconciliation Toolkit, Catheter Reduction Toolkit, Vaccination Toolkit, and Assurance of Diabetes Care Coordination Toolkit.

What Your Patients Should Know About the Flu Vaccine

Influenza (flu) is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Vaccination is an important preventative tool for people with chronic health conditions such as renal failure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the most important step of protection against the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu related illness. Additionally, flu vaccination decreases patients’ chances of catching the flu and possibly infecting family members, friends, fellow patients and staff at the dialysis clinic. Flu vaccination has also been shown to reduce hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung diseases (53%). Flu vaccination may also lessen the intensity of the flu if you do get sick.

Vaccines reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to the disease. The body’s immune response declines over time, and each flu season is different. Therefore an annual vaccine is needed to provide ideal protection. Additionally, because the flu virus constantly changes, the vaccine is reformulated each year to keep up with the changing viruses.

The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older receive the flu vaccine Additionally, anyone living with and/or caring for dialysis or transplant patients should get the flu vaccine.

Dialysis and transplant patients should not take nasal spray flu vaccines; and patients who have received a transplant within the previous six months should check with their renal care team concerning the flu shot.

Flu season starts in November. It takes about two weeks for the body to develop protection to the flu. Therefore, it’s best to get vaccinated by the end of October, before flu season starts.


CDC Preventive Steps:

CDC Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine:

Influenza Vaccinations for Patient and Staff

It is that time of year again! Flu season is right around the corner.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the influenza virus can be active year round, but it is most active in the late fall and winter months. Every flu season is different, but in the United States it can begin as early as October and last as late as May.  It is recommended that individuals receive their flu vaccination before the end of September. Reminder: Staff members, as well as patients, should be vaccinated against the flu.

There are many myths that surround the flu vaccine. Please review the CDC links below for resources regarding the influenza.


August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM)

One of the Network’s priorities is to support facility staff in ensuring that patients receive appropriate vaccinations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides vaccination recommendations for ESRD patients in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report(MMWR); two of the recommended vaccines (pneumococcal pneumonia and hepatitis B) are a focus of one of the Network’s quality improvement activities.

According to the CDC, approximately 18,000 patients die each year from pneumococcal disease, and treatment with antibiotics is becoming less effective, due to drug resistant bacteria. Hepatitis B is a serious disease that affects the liver, with 2,000 to 4,000 patients dying from cirrhosis or liver cancer each year. Vaccines offer a safe and effective way for individuals to protect themselves from serious illness. Please use the information in the resources below as talking points for conversations with your patients and your staff members regarding the importance and the benefits of vaccinations.

Vaccinations and antibodies are tracked in CROWNWeb, and facility vaccination rates are reported to the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

For additional information/resources on National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM):

For CDC Vaccine Information Statements (VIS):

Improve the Safety of the Care You Provide with a Focus on Vaccinations

The vaccines needed to maintain health and well-being are determined by your age, life style, health conditions, job, and international travel. There are many vaccines adults need to catch up on as their childhood immunity can wear off over time. As adults you are still at risk for acquiring a variety of diseases that can be prevented with vaccination.Vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available for you and your patients.

Focusing on vaccination as a method to improve safety for your staff and patients will help prevent the spread of disease in the healthcare setting and improve vaccination rates.

One of the most important vaccines for your patients and staff to receive annually is the influenza (FLU) vaccine. It is recommended for all age groups and is especially important for those with end stage renal disease since they are at greater risk than the general population for contracting contagious diseases.

Now is the time to discuss with your medical director which flu vaccine is preferred for your clinic and how many doses will be required to vaccinate the patients and staff. The period to pre-order vaccines will begin in early July and continue through August. Planning today will help you be prepared to start vaccinating when the influenza season begins in September.

Please click here to take a fun quiz to determine what vaccines are recommended for adults based on age, health conditions, job, lifestyle and other factors.

To read more about vaccinations, please click on the CDC link below: