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American Lung Association Joins Health Officials to Prevent the Spread of Influenza by Urging People to Get Vaccinated
Date:9/24/2008

Lung Association Chief Medical Officer. "With more than four out of five Americans now recommended to be immunized, the public needs to take flu season seriously and heed government recommendations."

"People in higher risk categories such as those 50 years and older in addition to people with chronic health problems such as asthma, diabetes, COPD and heart disease must make getting vaccinated a priority," added Edelman.

Recent studies suggest that people 70 years of age and older whom receive the influenza vaccine may not develop the same level of protection against the virus as their younger counterparts. The American Lung Association advises that older people still get vaccinated, because the vaccine likely provides at least some protection and is associated with few side effects.

The Lung Association also recommends that all school age children - 5 through 18 years of age - be vaccinated, since this segment of the population is among the main transmitters of the flu virus. Studies have shown that vaccinating school age children is likely to be effective at preventing influenza in populations at high risk for complications associated with the flu, especially older people.

"Parents should also keep in mind that children 6 to 59 months of age are considered a high risk group and should be vaccinated as should women who are pregnant during flu season," noted Edelman.

To help Americans see themselves among the large demographic groups the government recommends get vaccinated each year, the Lung Association will launch, later this fall, its annual Faces of Influenza campaign in collaboration with sanofi pastuer - a major national initiative designed to show Americans firsthand the seriousness of this potentially deadly infectious disease. More information can be found online at http://www.facesofinfluenza.org.

Prices for the flu shot vary throughout the U.S. and can
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SOURCE American Lung Association
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