Influenza Immunization Action Coalition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Influenza (flu) Vaccination Week

News Release From: Jackson County Immunization Action Coalition

Contact Person: Angela Aldrich, (517) 768-2129

Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family, Protect Your Community. Get Your Flu Shot Today!

Jackson County, MI – In observance of National Influenza (flu) Vaccination Week taking place December 3-9, the Jackson County Immunization Action Coalition (JCIAC) wants to remind residents that it is not too late to vaccinate!

The flu season typically starts in October and can last as late as May. The best way to prevent the flu and protect yourself and your family is to receive an annual influenza vaccine, also known as a flu shot. "Unfortunately some people avoid getting the flu shot because they believe that the shot will give them the flu," said Dr. Michael Foust, Co-Medical Director at the Jackson County Health Department and physician at Henry Ford Allegiance Family Medicine (Townsend) Practice. "That simply is not true. The flu shot cannot give you the flu. It is also possible to still get the flu after receiving a flu shot, because of the fact that there are typically several flu strains circulating in the community each year and the flu shot may not perfectly match with the current strains. However, the flu shot does protect against most cases of the flu and for those other strains, the shot reduces flu symptoms making people feel less sick for a shorter period of time".

People of every age including those in good health, are at risk of catching the flu. It is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe infection in the nose, throat, and lungs. Common symptoms include fever, a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, and fatigue. In some cases serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia, can lead to hospitalization and even death. The Center for Disease Control recommends everyone 6 months and older receive the vaccine.

Prevention is Key:

Take the time to get flu vaccine. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get your flu shot every year.

• These steps can help prevent the flu and other illnesses:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.

• Clean your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaners.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth

• Stay home when you are sick to help prevent others from becoming ill.

• Practice healthy habits. Choose healthy foods, exercise, and get plenty of rest.

Jackson County Immunization Action Coalition 1715 Lansing Avenue Jackson, MI 49202 (517) 788-4422 The JCIAC is working together to reduce the spread of Vaccine Preventable Disease in our community.

Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them. Treatment with antiviral medication within 48 hours of symptoms starting can greatly reduce the length and severe of illness.

"Every year across our country, there are tragedies associated with children and adults getting the flu. Please vaccinate now to help avoid this." says Dr. Sharon Rouse, Center for Family Health, Chief Medical Officer and Board-Certified Pediatrician.

Where can I get the flu shot?

There are several convenient locations where you can receive your annual flu shot. Flu vaccines are available at many physician offices, pharmacies, health clinics and the health department. Please call first to learn the details. You can also find flu vaccination clinics near you by using the website www.vaccinefinder.org.

Where can I get more information?

If you have further questions about vaccinations please contact your primary care provider or Nikki Meyer, Jackson County Health Department Clinical Services Coordinator, at (517)768-2117.

For more information, visit:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Frequently Asked Flu Questions for 2017-18 Influenza Season at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Information on Vaccines for Children at https://ivaccinate.org/

This message is brought to you by your local Jackson County Immunization Action Coalition, whose members include:

Advanced Care Pharmacy

Center for Family Health

Jackson College Health Clinic

Jackson County Health Department

Jackson Health Network

Henry Ford Allegiance Health

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – Immunization Division

Rite-Aid Pharmacy

Holton Health & Wellness Services (Spring Arbor University)

If you are an organization who is interested in collaborating to improve vaccination rates and reducing barriers to vaccination, please contact Nikki Meyer at 517-768-2117, for more information about the Jackson County Immunization Action Coalition.