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Should pediatric practices administer the flu vaccine to parents/guardians during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Ideally, parents of pediatric patients should receive the flu vaccination from a provider who treats adults. However, immunizing the parent in the pediatric office, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, can ensure the parent gets immunized, decreasing their children’s exposure to the flu. The following summary statements are from the American Academy of Pediatrics with regards to pediatricians providing immunizations to parents and close family contacts. Click here to view a copy of the full article for your reference.

  1. Pediatric offices may choose to serve as an alternate venue for adult care provider vaccination if it’s acceptable to both pediatricians and the adults who are to be vaccinated.
  2. Pediatric practices choosing to offer immunizations to parents and close family contacts should notify the parent’s/close family contact’s medical provider if vaccines are administered.
  3. If choosing to vaccinate parents and close family contacts, appropriate indications, contraindications, and precautions to vaccination of adults would need to be assessed and documented in a medical record. A Vaccine Information Statement would need to be provided, and necessary consent to treatment would need to be documented.
  4. Due to the limited relationship, have a parent/guardian sign a limited relationship consent.
  5. It is advisable to create a separate medical record or folder located in the EHR that is designed specifically for this case.
  6. Parents and close family contacts immunized in the pediatric office would need to receive a record of administered immunizations. In addition, if adults are included in vaccine registries, the immunizations provided in the pediatric practice would need to be recorded in the registry.
  7. The focus of parents and close family contact immunization in the pediatric practice should be centered on influenza (either inactivated or live-attenuated vaccine) and Tdap.
  8. Although pediatricians providing the aforementioned vaccinations would be protected by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, please contact your underwriter to advise them of this added service.
  9. Expectations for the method of payment for parents and close family contact immunizations would need to be clearly outlined with the adult seeking vaccination.
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All Curi recommendations are based on current CDC criteria at the time of publication. CDC guidance for SARS-CoV-2 infection may, or may not, be adopted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances. Providers should always check with their local health department to see if the CDC’s guidance on any given topic has been modified (particularly if more restrictive) from the CDC’s recommended guidelines. Follow this link https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/index.html for contact information to your state/local health department. If local recommendations vary from those of the CDC, and you are unsure what recommendations to follow, then it is safer to follow the more restrictive guidelines/recommendations.