Families Fighting Flu and the CDC Urge Families to Protect Themselves From the Flu

National Influenza Vaccination Week Reminds Americans It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate

ARLINGTON, Va., December 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — As the season turns from fall to winter, many holiday displays replace pop-up flu vaccine clinics. Yet flu season is not over — it has barely begun. In the 35 years that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has monitored influenza, February has been the most common month for peak flu activity, including during the 2010-2011 flu season. To share this important information and educate families around the country, Families Fighting Flu is joining the CDC once again during the annual National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) — an observance to promote the importance of flu vaccination as the single best preventative measure against this disease.

NIVW activities will remind people across the nation that it is not too late to vaccinate against the flu. A sampling of activities for the week includes:

"With the holidays approaching, you may feel like you don’t have time to get vaccinated, but taking a little time to get the flu vaccine now can save you days, even weeks, recovering from the flu later," says Dr. Anne Schuchat, Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Flu, or influenza, is of particular concern for children. Each year approximately 20,000 children are hospitalized with the flu, and more than 100 children die from this disease most years. According to the CDC, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated for the flu each and every year.

“The flu season can be unpredictable, often peaking in February and lasting as late as May. It is so important to protect your family this season. Break the cycle and help prevent the spread of the flu by getting yourself and your loved ones vaccinated,” said Andrew Eisenberg, M.D., medical advisor to Families Fighting Flu.

Members of the national nonprofit organization Families Fighting Flu understand the serious nature of the flu all too well. Each member has had a child either suffer serious medical complications or die due to the flu. In support of the CDC’s continued efforts, and to help raise awareness about the seriousness of the disease, Families Fighting Flu recently released a new public service announcement (PSA) to share the story of one of its members. At the age of 15, Luke Duvall was hospitalized for 34 days, including nearly two weeks in a medically-induced coma, after contracting the flu. Luke and his family are reaching out to help others understand that flu can have significant physical, emotional and financial consequences – all of which can be prevented through annual flu vaccination.

“As a father, I never thought I’d have to worry about the flu threatening my child’s life. Now, we are sure to get the entire family vaccinated every year,” said Chad Duvall, Luke’s father and Families Fighting Flu member.

To watch the PSA and learn more about Luke’s story, visit www.multivu.com/mnr/52236-families-fighting-flu-psa-flu-survivor-luke-duvall-flu-prevention. For more information about the flu and flu prevention, to find an influenza vaccination clinic in your area or to support flu prevention education, visit www.familiesfightingflu.org.

Families Fighting Flu activities during NIVW are supported by a grant from Sanofi Pasteur U.S.

About Families Fighting Flu
Families Fighting Flu is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) volunteer-based advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the lives of children. Our members include families whose children have suffered serious medical complications or died from influenza, as well as health care practitioners and advocates committed to flu prevention. In honor of our children, we work to increase awareness about the seriousness of the disease and to reduce the number of childhood hospitalizations and deaths caused by the flu each year by increasing vaccination rates. Families Fighting Flu offers support to other families and communities who have been severely affected by the flu through resources available on www.familiesfightingflu.org.

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Media Contact:
Jenn Corrigan
Feinstein Kean Healthcare
(732) 590-3849
Jenn.Corrigan@fkhealth.com

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Flu survivor Luke Duvall spent 34 days in the hospital.
Flu survivor Luke Duvall spent 34 days in the hospital.
More than 200,000 Americans like Luke are hospitalized from the flu each year.
More than 200,000 Americans like Luke are hospitalized from the flu each year.
More than 100 children in the United States die most years from the flu.
More than 100 children in the United States die most years from the flu.

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It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate

FFF PSA

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