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Convenience is Key to Adult Flu Vaccinations
Date:10/15/2008

Vote & Vax Clinics Across the United States Will Increase Flu Vaccination Rates

LAKEVILLE, Conn., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During this year's national presidential election, more than 125 million Americans are expected to pass through polling places -- and two-thirds of them are likely to be age 50 and older. To take advantage of this unique opportunity, nearly 200 flu shot clinics will be taking place at or near polling sites, including some early voting locations, across 30 states and the District of Columbia.

The clinics are part of an innovative non-partisan, non-political national public health strategy called Vote & Vax, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC).

A 2008 national survey commissioned by SPARC reveals that nearly half (46%) of adults age 50 and older in the U.S. would be more likely to get a flu shot if it were more convenient for them.

"Increasing the number of people in this country who are able to conveniently receive an influenza vaccination is a proven way to protect the health of thousands of people in this country," says Douglas Shenson, MD, MPH, executive director of SPARC. An estimated 36,000 people in the U.S. die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year as a result of the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults aged 50 and older get an annual influenza vaccination. For the 2006-2007 flu season, far less than half of adults (36%) aged 50 to 64 and less than two-thirds (65.6%) of those aged 65 and older received an influenza vaccination, according to available CDC data.

"Vote & Vax is a common sense strategy for ensuring that the people who can benefit most from flu shots get them when they need them," said Jane Isaacs Lowe, PhD, senior program officer at RWJF.

Launched in 1996 by SPARC, the Vote & Vax project was established as a projec
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SOURCE Sickness Prevention Achieved through RegionalCollaboration
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