Offering flu shot to kids undergoing general anesthesia sign
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A best practice alert when a child checked in for surgery led to an approximately 3,500% increase in the number of patients vaccinated against influenza at Children’s Hospital Colorado, according to a press release.

The CDC estimates that 58.2% of U.S. children received the influenza vaccine during the 2020-2021 season, a decrease of about 4.1 percentage points from the 2019-2020 season.

During the 2020-2021 influenza season, before the best practice alert was implemented, only 30 perioperative vaccines were administered to patients during a 6-week period, according to the press release. Twenty-five weeks into the intervention period, 1,063 vaccines were administered. No vaccine-related complications were reported.

“Surprisingly, patients and families had very few concerns about receiving the vaccine under anesthesia,” Morrissey said. “The project demonstrated that, if offered, families would jump at the chance to have their child vaccinated under anesthesia.”

He added in a press release that the data show “that having a standardized process for getting children vaccinated for flu while under anesthesia during surgery provides a ‘teachable moment’ and opportunity to educate families on the importance of flu vaccination and may be a model for other childhood vaccinations while under anesthesia, including the COVID-19 vaccine.”