Texas NAACP Reaches Out to Veterans about the Importance of Annual Flu Vaccinations
Texas NAACP Health Committee Director Carol Moore is a champion for flu vaccinations.
“We want to get more veterans and their families covered for flu,” said Texas NAACP Health Committee Director Carol Moore about the organization’s push to educate veterans about flu and provide flu vaccines.
The Texas NAACP hosted five veteran outreach events for the 2016-17 flu season. About 300 veterans attended the first event in Killeen, TX. A second event in El Paso was also well-attended.
Veterans, military personnel, and military families are covered by TRICARE, which fully covers an annual flu vaccination for enrolled children and adults.
Moore urges anyone considering veteran or military family outreach to contact TRICARE first to make sure the program meets coverage requirements. For example, TRICARE will cover flu vaccinations from participating network pharmacies only if the vaccine is administered by a pharmacist.
Moore added that veteran outreach on college campuses has been successful for the NAACP because many veterans transitioning to civilian life are enrolled in college courses. She also recommends offering multiple physical and mental health services at events, in addition to flu vaccination outreach, to attract the most attendees.
Help Veterans and Military Families Get a Flu Vaccine
Missouri School-located Flu Vaccination Program Serves Students and Teachers
Ste. Genevieve County Health District's school-located flu vaccination program makes it easy for every student to get an annual flu vaccine.
A school flu vaccination program in Ste. Genevieve County, MO, vaccinated over 800 students and teachers at public and private schools during the 2016-17 flu season.
Ste. Genevieve County Health Department has coordinated and administered this program each October for the past 5 years. The program utilizes a combination of vaccine funding sources and paid staff and volunteers to provide students with flu vaccines.
Children are sent home with permission forms and information about the program, says Ste. Genevieve County Health Department Administrator Sandra Bell. Forms can also be downloaded from school websites.
“There are no barriers for the kids. They can all get a flu shot,” says Bell.
Vaccines for Children Program
The federally funded Vaccines for Children Program (VCF) provides flu vaccines at no cost to children enrolled in Medicaid and to children who are underinsured or uninsured. CDC buys vaccines at a discount and distributes them to grantees.
Participating in VFC reduces your costs because you don't have to buy vaccines for your eligible patients with your own money.
Parents are asked for insurance information on the consent form. If the child has private insurance, the health department bills the insurance, says Bell. Students who qualify for the federal Vaccines for Children Program are given flu vaccines paid for through that funding source. The remainder of students are immunized using vaccines paid for with private donations, grants, and the health department’s budget. Teacher vaccines are billed to private insurance.
In addition to health department staff, the program utilizes volunteer nurses and staff from local hospitals to administer the vaccines.
Ste. Genevieve County Health Department nurse Mary Roth says the results of the program have been incredibly positive. School administrators report lower absentee rates due to flu. The rate of flu cases among school-aged children in Ste. Genevieve County is lower than it is in surrounding counties. About 14% of 5- to 14-year-olds in Ste. Genevieve County got the flu during the 2016-17 flu season, compared to an average of about 20% in surrounding counties.
Download the National Association of County & City Health Officials’ School-located Influenza Immunization Toolkit for checklists, work plans, timelines, sample letters to parents, consent forms, and other resources for school-located flu immunization events.
Take Advantage of Medicaid and Medicare Coverage
Did you know that Medicare covers flu vaccination? This means that people covered by this program can get a flu vaccine and bill the programs—no vouchers required.
In New Jersey, Home Towne Rx Pharmacy and the City of Trenton’s Health and Human Services Department Division of Health organizes flu vaccination events at senior housing complexes, where many residents are covered by Medicare.
The federally funded Vaccines for Children Program provides flu vaccines at no cost to children enrolled in Medicaid and to children who are underinsured or uninsured.
Most, but not all, state Medicaid agencies cover at least some adult immunizations. Check with your state Medicaid agency to see if flu vaccines are covered in your state.
Learn More about Medicaid and Medicare Coverage of Flu Vaccines
This online report informs public health professionals about best practices for immunizations, including flu vaccination. Use this resource to help educate your staff on vaccine benefits, prepare for the 2017-18 flu season, and continue to promote annual flu vaccination in your community.
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