The Rx Consultant 

Influenza Vaccination Update

This CE activity was originally published in The Rx Consultant.  If you received credit for it previously, you cannot receive credit for it again.
Influenza or “the flu” is an acute viral disease of the respiratory tract. Outbreaks and epidemics occur nearly every year, with the peak flu season in the Northern Hemisphere starting in November and continuing through March. The clinical impact of influenza varies from year to year. The flu can cause significant illness and death, especially in vulnerable populations such as infants, elders, and immunocompromised persons. (See the Patient Connection for more information.) However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 5% to 20% of the U.S. population is affected each year, with an average of 226,000 individuals hospitalized for influenza-related complications. Over a 30-year period, yearly estimates of flu-related deaths have ranged from 3,000 to as many as 49,000.

All persons 6 months of age or older should get an influenza vaccination every year. Universal influenza vaccination has been the recommendation since early 2010, when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to expand protection against influenza in the U.S. Despite this recommendation, in 2012 only 35% of U.S. adults had received a flu vaccination by early to mid-November. Vaccination rates in U.S. children have also been lower than expected; in 2012, only 40% of children aged 6 months or older received a vaccine by mid-November.

Pharmacists can play a key role in promoting and maintaining high immunization rates. Staying current on new influenza developments, including new vaccine products and recommended immunization schedules, is critical for guiding patients. This issue provides key information on the vaccines available for the 2013-2014 flu season including precautions, side effects, and use in special populations.
This CE activity is a monograph (PDF file).



CE Hours


CE Units


Activity Type


Target Audience(s)

Pharmacists, Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Registered Nurses


This CE activity was developed by The Rx Consultant, a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc.

CE activities for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians:
This continuing education (CE) activity meets the requirements of all state boards of pharmacy for approved continuing education hours.  CE credit is automatically reported to CPE Monitor.
CE activities for Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists: 
    This continuing education activity meets the requirements of:
        The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for formally approved continuing education (CE) hours, and CE hours of pharmacotherapeutics.
        The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) for acceptable, accredited CE.
    This is a pharmacotherapeutics/pharmacology CE activity.
  • The ANCC requires all advanced practice nursing certificants (CNSs and NPs) to complete 25 CE hours of pharmacotherapeutics as a portion of the required 75 continuing education hours.
  • Pharmacology CE is recommended by the AANPCP and will be required for Certificants renewing certification starting January 2017.  
  • Most State Boards of Nursing require a minimum number of pharmacy contact hours to renew an advanced practice license.
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
Continuing Education Network, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Requirements for CE Credit

CE No Longer Valid
To receive CE credit, the participant must read the monograph in its entirety, complete the online post-test and receive a score of 70% or greater, and complete the online evaluation.
Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians -
Be sure your profile has been updated with your NAPB e-profile # and birth date information BEFORE completing the online evaluation, or your credits cannot be reported to CPE Monitor.
Continuing pharmacy education credit is automatically reported to CPE Monitor once the post-test & evaluation are successfully completed.




  • Describe the symptoms of influenza and the patient groups at high risk for complications. Counsel patients about how they can protect themselves and others from influenza.
  • State the dosing requirements (children and adults), administration routes, and contraindications for influenza vaccination. Discuss the vaccines available for the 2013-2014 season.
  • Describe the safety, efficacy, and common side effects of influenza vaccines.
  • Discuss influenza vaccine considerations for immuno-compromised patients, the elderly, and pregnant women.


Colleen M. Terriff, PharmD, BCPS (AQ-ID)

Disclosure : Dr Terriff is a reviewer for Lexi-Comp, Inc. and Pharmaceutical Coordinator for the Spokane City Department of Emergency Management/MMRS.

Pamela Mausner, MD

Brief Bio : Pamela Mausner, MD; Medical Writer/Editor and Healthcare Advocate; and Associate Editor, The Rx Consultant.
Disclosure : Dr.Mausner reports no financial relationship with the manufacturer(s) or provider(s) of any commercial product(s) or service(s) that appear in this issue.

Tracy Farnen, PharmD

Brief Bio : Tracy Farnen, PharmD; Managing Editor, The Rx Consultant.
Disclosure : Dr. Farnen reports no financial relationship with the manufacturer(s) or provider(s) of any commercial product(s) or service(s) that appear in this issue.

Activity Number


Release Date: Aug 18, 2013
Credit Expiration Date: Aug 18, 2016

CE Hours