Staff at GSS taking precautions against influenza

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s flu season and that means many people are either scheduling their flu vaccine or have already received it.

It’s flu season and staff at Good Samaritan Society are doing what they can to keep residents safe.

“It’s important for all of our staff to get the flu shot, so they don’t transfer any flu or virus to our residents. It’s just one more way for everyone in the community to protect others, and then especially those that we serve,” Nearman said.

Nikki Nearman, senior living director at Good Samaritan Prairie Creek, says all staff at GSS get their flu vaccine every year in order to protect the most vulnerable.

“When we vaccinate, we’re decreasing the risk that people can transport it from one person to another. And that’s particularly important in long-term care and in senior care because of the vulnerability of our population,” Johnson said.

It’s not just those working with seniors who Dr. Gregory Johnson recommends get vaccinated.
He says herd immunity through flu vaccinations can help protect everyone.

“When it jumps from one person who, potentially another person that’s been vaccinated, it’s a dead end, if you will. And the more dead ends we run into, the greater the likelihood that the virus is contained or doesn’t spread to other vulnerable individuals,” Johnson said.

With COVID-19 symptoms often similar to those of influenza, he says a flu vaccine is even more important this year.

“There are respiratory symptoms with both there is fever with both. And I think just, just practically speaking, I’d like to take the one off the table that I can,” Johnson said.

And Nearman says there is no lack of gratitude from resident’s families for taking actions like this.

“We continue to hear a lot from families. They thank us for taking these extra precautions to protect the health and safety of their loved ones,” Nearman said.

To see the recommended guidelines for the flu vaccine, click here.

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