With winter fast approaching, it is time for the yearly flu vaccinations and we need the assistance of healthcare professionals to get as many of our high-risk members vaccinated as possible.
We would like you to encourage your patients to have their yearly flu vaccine, especially your high-risk members and their families. It will benefit your valued patients, while also increasing the numbers in your practice.
As you know, everyone can benefit from being vaccinated but some people are more vulnerable to severe infections and complications from the seasonal influenza virus. Published evidence shows that the influenza vaccine is 60% effective in preventing related hospitalisations, and up to 89% effective in preventing particularly severe cases of influenza. You are in the best position to identify these vulnerable persons and talk to them about being vaccinated. It is also beneficial to vaccinate the vulnerable patients’ family members (especially those who have close contact with them) in an attempt to prevent the vulnerable person from getting infected.
Patients who are at high risk
The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that people older than 65 years and those with certain chronic medical conditions have a seasonal flu vaccination.
Discovery Health defines high-risk members as those who are 65 years or older, pregnant or who are registered on the Chronic Illness Benefit for one of the following chronic conditions:
- Cardiac failure
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Chronic renal disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Diabetes (types 1 and 2)
Payment of the vaccine
The cost of the flu vaccine will be paid from the Screening and Prevention benefit for high-risk members on participating schemes administered by Discovery Health.
For members who are not considered to be at higher risk, the scheme will pay the cost of the flu vaccine from available day-to-day benefits, where applicable. If their plan does not have an MSA, the member will be responsible for the cost. Members can check on their Scheme’s website to see how they covered.
Please note: We pay the professional services for the administration of the vaccine, such as the consultation and pharmacy administration fee, from the Medical Savings Account (MSA).
We are encouraging your patients to be vaccinated
As part of the campaign we are sending letters and SMSs to members of schemes administered by Discovery Health to encourage them to get vaccinated. In the letters we explain the benefits to their health and we also explain to them how we pay for the vaccine.
We ask that you assist us to try and keep our members healthy through the winter. Without your help we might not be very successful.
Get rewarded for protecting their health
Discovery Vitality members can earn 1 000 Vitality points for getting a flu vaccination this season.