HHS Announces Nationwide Effort to Encourage H1N1 Vaccination During National Influenza Vaccination Week January 10 – 16, 2010
National, state, and local events will encourage more Americans to get vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 flu
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a nationwide effort to encourage more Americans to get the H1N1 flu vaccine during National Influenza Vaccination Week, January 10–16, 2010.
“This is a challenging flu season for millions of Americans and their families, and it’s not over yet,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The H1N1 vaccine is safe, effective and the best way to prevent the flu. We urge all Americans to protect themselves and their families by getting the H1N1 flu vaccine.”
From April 2009 until mid-November 2009, H1N1 flu infected approximately 47 million Americans and contributed to more than 200,000 hospitalizations and nearly 10,000 deaths. Flu season is unpredictable and typically lasts until May.
“The window of opportunity to get the H1N1 vaccine is still open,” said Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC. “We do not know how many more cases of flu there will be in the coming weeks and months, but we do know that the H1N1 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself.”
Launched in 2006 as an annual initiative, National Influenza Vaccination Week brings awareness of flu’s risks and complications—and encourages vaccination—by designating each day of the week for an at-risk group or individuals who are in close contact with them. So far, over 130 events are planned around the country, and more are being added.
Some scheduled events and initiatives are below:
National Influenza Vaccination Week
* Sunday, Jan. 10 Vaccination Week Kick-Off
o Secretary Sebelius Visits 19th Street Baptist Church in Washington, DC to urge congregants to get the H1N1 flu vaccine.
o Faith-based and community organizations around the country urge Americans to get the H1N1 flu vaccine.
* Monday, Jan. 11: Healthcare Workers and General Public Flu Vaccination Day
o Health care workers and first-responders around the country urge colleagues and the public to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu.
* Tuesday, Jan. 12: Underlying Health Conditions Flu Vaccination Day
o The CDC will hold a webinar along with the American Lung Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Cancer Society to discuss the importance for people with chronic health conditions to get the H1N1 vaccine
o Secretary Sebelius and Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, Director of HHS’ Indian Health Service will hold a press conference call to announce new public service announcements (PSAs) on the importance of American Indians and Alaska Natives getting the H1N1 vaccine.
o Secretary Sebelius will also hold a press conference call to announce new PSAs urging African-Americans to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu.
* Wednesday, Jan. 13: Children, Pregnant Women, and Families Flu Vaccination Day
o CDC holds a bloginar on the importance of pregnant women getting vaccinated.
* Thursday, Jan. 14: Young Adults Flu Vaccination Day
o Secretary Sebelius attends roundtable discussion at Hunter College in New York City to discuss the importance of young people getting the H1N1 flu vaccine.
* Friday, Jan. 15: Seniors Flu Vaccination Day
o Secretary Sebelius and HHS’ Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee attend a vaccination event at Congress Heights Wellness Center in Washington, DC and encourage senior citizens to get the H1N1 flu vaccine.
o HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh, M.D., and Massachusetts Health Secretary JudyAnn Bigby attend a vaccination week event the State House in Boston.
Additional information on National Influenza Vaccination Week can be found at www.flu.gov/getvaccinated.
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