As fall arrives, pharmacies are usually preparing to administer flu vaccines to as many people as possible. This is especially true for long-term care pharmacies, as influenza can be devastating to seniors. This year, preparation is key as we navigate unknown conditions while COVID-19 continues to spread through long-term care communities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza and COVID-19 are viruses that can spread from person-to-person and between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Both are spread mainly by droplets made when people with either illness cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby and can possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

It may be possible for a person to become  infected by physical human contact (e.g. shaking hands), or by touching his or her own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes after touching a surface or object that has the virus on it.

More information about the flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm.

The only way to know for sure which virus is causing the illness is by getting tested. There are tests for both influenza and COVID-19. Currently, however, there is only a vaccine to prevent flu. It makes good sense to try preventing influenza while battling COVID -19.

The flu team at Guardian Pharmacy Atlanta is prepared and ready to be flu fighters for our long-term care communities. We have redesigned our paperwork, our processes, and our clinics to help make fighting the flu easier for our communities. We will be coming to your community soon! If you have questions about influenza and/or vaccination for long-term care communities, please call Guardian Pharmacy of Atlanta at 770-635-3301.