As the mass vaccination effort continues to ramp up across the country, Medicare and Medicaid payers and accountable care organizations are looking for ways to ensure their members get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. Many Medicare members fall into vulnerable populations due to age, while Medicaid members can be more susceptible to comorbidities, and more making it essential that both populations get vaccinated quickly. Member populations may also require a greater level of education around vaccination due to hesitancy of the vaccine or because they may encounter logistical obstacles as they schedule and travel to their appointments.
We’re on the precipice of what is being called a “twindemic,” the possibility that we’ll be managing both the spread of influenza and a new wave of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Such a scenario has the potential to put patients at higher risk for infection, as well as put hospitals at risk for becoming overwhelmed.
While there's no vaccine for COVID-19, there is one for influenza. With the possibility of a new surge of COVID-19 in the fall and winter, health experts and officials are encouraging early flu shots to avoid what has been dubbed a "twindemic"—a severe flu season combined with a new wave of COVID-19.
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