Partnership elevates the importance of flu prevention in older adults.

SUMMIT, N.J. (December 7, 2017)—Seqirus, in partnership with health care provider advocacy organizations, announced the launch of Be FLUent, a collaborative initiative that brings together nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs) and pharmacists to drive dialogue about influenza (flu) prevention between health care providers and their patients age 65 and older.

"We're proud to be partnering with the American Pharmacists Association, the American Nurse Practitioner Foundation and the Physician Assistant Foundation to elevate the importance of flu prevention in older adults," said Gregg C. Sylvester, MD, MPH, Global Head, Medical Affairs, Seqirus. "Flu can be very serious, and as the second largest influenza vaccine provider in the world and a major contributor to the prevention of flu globally, Seqirus is committed to helping protect this high-risk population."

"Meeting the immunization needs of the patient and protecting the community from vaccine-preventable diseases is a responsibility we take seriously," said Mitchel Rothholz, RPh, MBA, Chief Strategy Officer, American Pharmacists Association. "The Be FLUent collaboration will arm health care providers with the information, tools and resources they need to help protect older adults from the flu."

In the U.S., adults age 65 years and older are disproportionately impacted by flu every year. This group is at an elevated risk of complications from flu due to the increased likelihood of chronic conditions with age and the gradual weakening of the immune system. 

Today, there are influenza vaccines developed specifically for people age 65 years and older to help address age-related weakening of the immune system. But, despite the well-publicized risks that flu poses for older adults, U.S. flu vaccination coverage among this group has stalled. 

"The seasonal flu vaccine offers the single best protection against the flu regardless of age," said Debra Danforth, MS, ARNP, FAANP, President and CEO, American Nurse Practitioner Foundation. "As health care providers on the front line of patient care, we play a key role in protecting older adults from the most serious complications of the flu."

Each expert partner is contributing unique skills, perspectives and assets to champion flu prevention practices for older adults. Be FLUent will help ensure that PAs, NPs and pharmacists have information on the latest clinical recommendations and the tools to help them proactively discuss the importance of flu protection with their senior-aged patients.

Specific resources developed as part of Be FLUent include a fact sheet for use by health care providers about the impact of flu on older adults, a conversation guide to assist PAs, NPs, and pharmacists in speaking with their patients age 65 and older about flu vaccination, and materials for older adults including an educational brochure about flu prevention and a vaccination reminder card. "Be FLUent is our opportunity to provide leadership on this crucial issue and set an example for our peers across the country," said Jim Cawley, MPH, PA-C, President, Physician Assistant Foundation.

Be FLUent partners include: the American Nurse Practitioner Foundation, the American Pharmacists Association and Physician Assistant Foundation. Seqirus is part of CSL Limited and headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.

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