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Asthma Foundation Offers National Flu Shot Finder
Date:11/21/2007

Free Online Search Lists 30,000 Clinic Locations

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the week after Thanksgiving, November 27 to December 2, as National Influenza Vaccination Week. Despite annual CDC recommendations, influenza vaccination (flu shot) rates in young children remain disturbingly low. Only 20 percent of children age 6 to 23 months were fully immunized for the flu during the 2005-2006 season. So the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is making it easier for asthma patients to find flu shot clinics with a free "Flu Shot Finder" at http://www.aafa.org.

The flu is a serious and potentially deadly viral infection that causes respiratory problems, spreads easily, and is a major concern for 20 million Americans with asthma. Each year, it causes approximately 20,000 hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths in American children under age 5. Annual flu shots are highly recommended for anyone with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma.

The Foundation's Flu Shot Finder, powered by Maxim Health Systems, is a simple online zip code search that links to a database of more than 30,000 flu clinic locations nationwide. The Flu Shot Finder returns a list of clinic names, dates, times, addresses and phone numbers to help consumers contact the most convenient location and schedule a visit. The Flu Shot Finder Web page also provides links to helpful information about influenza, flu shot guidelines from the CDC and more.

"Flu symptoms can cause more trouble for people with asthma," says Angel Waldron, a spokesperson for AAFA. "When you've already got a chronic disease like asthma, a severe flu could make it worse." Waldron also says that the flu is a leading cause of emergency department visits for asthma patients. "Healthcare professionals already know that respiratory infections send millions of asthma patients to hospitals this time of year, but many asthma patients don't know it and they find out the hard way."

The Foundation hopes its Flu Shot Finder will help educate people with asthma about the dangers of the flu, and encourage patients to schedule a vaccination. For more free information about AAFA, asthma, or influenza, visit http://www.aafa.org, or call 1-800-7-ASTHMA.

About AAFA

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), founded in 1953, is a not-for-profit organization of patients serving patients. It is the leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies, and the oldest asthma and allergy patient group in the world. AAFA provides practical information, community based services and support through a national network of chapters and support groups. AAFA develops health education, organizes state and national advocacy efforts and funds research to find better treatments and cures.


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SOURCE The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
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