December is Handwashing Awareness Month

Quick Facts:

  • Germs are everywhere. Make handwashing with soap and water a healthy habit to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. 
  • Everything you touch has germs that stay on your hands. Make clean hands a healthy habit everywhere you go so you don’t get sick. 
  • Your hands carry germs you can’t see. Take the time to wash your hands for 20 seconds during key times to stay healthy.
  • Handwashing can help prevent 1 in 5 respiratory illnesses and 1 in 3 diarrheal illnesses. Learn more about the benefits of handwashing. 
  • Stay healthy by making handwashing a regular part of your cooking routine. Wash hands to prevent spreading germs to your food and your family. 
  • Don’t let germs ruin your food plans. Make handwashing a healthy habit while preparing food for yourself and loved ones. 
  • Everything you touch has germs that stay on your hands. Wash your hands while preparing food so you don’t get sick. 
  • Wash your hands often when you cook to prevent the spread of germs. Be sure to wash before preparing any food.
Handwashing from the CDC

For more information, check out CDC.gov

December is Flu Vaccine Awareness Month

CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting
against flu viruses


Even though the vaccine composition is still the same, everyone needs to get
vaccinated with this season’s vaccine because immunity from last season’s vaccine will
have declined.

People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women,
people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease
and people 65 years and older.

Children 6 months through 8 years of age who did not receive at least one dose of the
2010-2011 vaccine, or for whom it is not certain whether 2010-2011 vaccine was
4 received, should receive 2 doses of the 2011-2012 seasonal vaccine, administered at
least 4 weeks apart.


There are two types of vaccines:
The “flu shot” — an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a
needle, usually in the arm.
There are three different flu shots available:
o a regular flu shot approved for people ages 6 months and older
o a high-dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older, and
o the new intradermal flu shot approved for people 18 through 64 years of
age.
The age indications for the different flu shots vary, but all may be given to people
with chronic medical conditions.


The nasal-spray flu vaccine — a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that
is given as a nasal spray (sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated Influenza
Vaccine”). The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine do not cause the flu. LAIV is
approved for use in most healthy* people 2 through 49 years of age who are not
pregnant. (See http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/nasalspray.htm for a complete list of
those who can and cannot receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.)

Information about CMS and the Flu Shot

For more information, check out CMS.gov and CDC.gov

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

The National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an opportunity to learn and better understand the role of vaccines in your healthcare plan. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life. There have been known challenges with patients’ ability to attend important appointments and receive routine vaccinations. There has been significant questions raised about vaccines and how they work which has created delays in how people are accessing and scheduling immunizations.

During NIAM, we encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider to ensure you and your family are protected against serious diseases by getting caught up on routine vaccination. If you have questions, ask your provider. If you are on our home health, palliative, or hospice services, ask one of your clinicians for information and resources.