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American Lung Association's Faces of Influenza Campaign Stresses the Importance of Seasonal Influenza Vaccination
Date:9/15/2009

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association is intensifying its seasonal influenza public education initiative to urge families to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The Faces of Influenza campaign aims to ensure Americans get immunized against seasonal influenza, which each year causes an estimated 36,000 deaths and over 226,000 hospitalizations from the virus and its related complications.

The Faces of Influenza campaign, which includes expanded awareness initiatives nationally and in many major cities, supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) call for Americans to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza this and every year.

Seasonal influenza is an annual threat, and more than 80 percent of the U.S. population is recommended to receive the vaccine. In an average year, up to one in five Americans may be infected with the virus, which can cause missed days at school or the office, hospitalizations -- and even death.

"Seasonal influenza remains a serious concern, even with the presence of the 2009 H1N1 virus," said Norman Edelman, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the American Lung Association. "Vaccination against seasonal influenza is the best protection against this annual disease. Speak with your doctor about getting you and your family vaccinated to help prevent the spread of the virus."

The CDC recommends seasonal influenza vaccination for more than 250 million Americans. It is especially important for those in high-risk groups and their close contacts to get immunized against seasonal influenza as soon as vaccine is available to avoid serious complications from infection. Immunization throughout the full season is beneficial, as seasonal influenza virus activity typically peaks in February or March.

The American Lung Association's Faces of Infl
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SOURCE The American Lung Association
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