As COVID-19 vaccines begin rolling out across the country, CMS is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers and keeping you updated on the latest COVID-19 resources from HHS, CDC and CMS.
With information coming from many different sources, CMS has compiled resources and materials to help you share important and relevant information on the COVID-19 vaccine with the people that you serve. You can find these and more resources on the COVID-19 Partner Resources Page and the HHS COVID Education Campaign page. We look forward to partnering with you to promote vaccine safety and encourage our beneficiaries to get vaccinated when they have the opportunity.
Promoting COVID-19 Vaccines in Your Community
CDC has designed a COVID-19 vaccine toolkit to help your organization educate community members about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns. It is full of free digital resources, templates, posters and ideas for how to work within your community to help promote the COVID vaccine.
HOW CAN YOU GET STARTED?
Know the COVID-19 Vaccine Resources that are Available to You
- The COVID-19 Vaccines Factsheet is in plain language with information on COVID-19 vaccines. This fact sheet is available in multiple languages:
- Vaccine Promotion Posters are available to encourage your community to get a COVID-19 vaccine. There are poster options for different audiences including long-term care facility workers, long-term care facility residents, and essential workers such as public safety workers, first responders, farmers and others. All of the vaccine promotion posters are also available in Spanish.
- A COVID-19 Vaccinations Social Media Toolkit is available with sample Social Media messages and images for use on various social media channels that your organization uses, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can use them as-is with the hashtag #SleeveUp or include your own identity.
- A COVID-19 Vaccine Powerpoint Presentation is available for webinars, conferences and other events. The presentation is also available in Spanish.
- Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine language may be used for e-newsletters, listserv announcements or other types of media.
- Printable Stickers can be used for staff to handout to people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Some stickers are also available in Spanish.Widgets can be placed on your organization’s website to enhance access to up to date information on COVID-19 vaccines.
Use the COVID-19 Resources to Share your Messages
- Adapt the key messages to the language, tone, and format that will resonate with your community. You know what works in your community.
- Customize this template letter and send or email it to your community members to introduce your COVID-19 vaccine educational activities.
- Print copies of the posters and use them as handouts or to hang in highly visible places in your community.
- Organize a COVID-19 vaccine presentation for your community members and promote it via digital and community communication channels. If your community has internet access, organize a virtual presentation. If it does not, organize an in-person presentation following COVID-19 safety precautions. Ask if your local health department can provide a speaker if you do not have a health educator on staff.
- Continue to educate your community via articles, blog posts, and CDC social media posts or retweet and share CMS Medicare social media messages on Twitter and Facebook.
- Invite community members to wear stickers once they have been vaccinated and post vaccination selfies on social media.
Communicate with Your Community
- Send an introductory letter to encourage your branches, chapters, or affiliates to review and use the toolkit materials, or a letter to members of your organization.
- Drop the newsletter content into your e-newsletters or listservs to distributed and share information widely on COVID-19 vaccines.
- Use the COVID-19 Vaccine Basic slide deck for virtual town halls or other informational meetings within your communities. You can use all or part of the set or also include your own organization’s information. Slides are also available in Spanish.
- Share these key messages about COVID-19 vaccine to educate your communities. These key messages are also available in a printable PDF version.
- Use the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help answer questions about COVID-19 vaccine in your communities. FAQs also available in a printable PDF version.
- Share credible and accurate COVID-19 vaccine information from the Myths & Facts page.
- Encourage your community members who are vaccinated to enroll in v-safe an after vaccination health checker.
Questions? Please e-mail us: Partnership@cms.hhs.gov
Action Advances Fight Against COVID-19, Follows Comprehensive Evaluation of Available Safety, Effectiveness and Manufacturing Quality Information by FDA Career Scientists, Input from External Experts
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 http://esrdnetworks.org/resources/toolkits/mac-toolkits-1, 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.
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: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm
CDC Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm
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.
- Influenza (Flu): https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm
- Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm
- Guidelines for Vaccinating Kidney Dialysis Patients and Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: https://www.cdc.gov/dialysis/PDFs/Vaccinating_Dialysis_Patients_and_Patients_dec2012.pdf
- Surveillance for Dialysis Patient Influenza Vaccination: https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/dialysis/patient-vaccination/index.html
- Surveillance for Dialysis Healthcare Personnel Vaccination: https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/dialysis/hcp-vaccination/index.html
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):
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam.html
- National Public Health Information Coalition: https://www.nphic.org/niam
For CDC Vaccine Information Statements (VIS):
- Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13) https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/pcv13.html
- Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPSV23) https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/ppv.html
- Hepatitis B Vaccine https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hep-b.html
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.