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Mayor Rick Baker and the American Lung Association Encourage St. Petersburg Residents to Get Immunized Against Influenza
Date:11/21/2008

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor Rick Baker and members of the St. Petersburg City Council are partnering with the American Lung Association of Florida Gulfcoast Area on its Faces of Influenza initiative to educate St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay area residents about the importance of annual vaccination to help protect themselves and their loved ones against influenza.

In support of the initiative, Mayor Baker, Council Chair James Bennett and other City Council members designated a portion of the November 21 City Council meeting to receive their annual influenza vaccinations and discuss the importance of preventing the spread of influenza by getting vaccinated.

"We can't stress enough the seriousness of this disease," said Mayor Baker. "Many people are affected by influenza every year and don't realize that getting vaccinated is important to their health, their family's health and the health of our community."

The American Lung Association's Faces of Influenza campaign encourages local residents to see themselves and their loved ones among the many "faces" of influenza -- people who fall into one or more target groups recommended for annual vaccination by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Representatives from the American Lung Association of Florida Gulfcoast Area and Edward White Hospital were also present at the meeting to discuss the initiative and remind the community that vaccination is the best protection available against the disease.

Influenza, along with its complications, is a serious respiratory illness. The CDC estimates between 12,500 and 50,000 St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay area residents will suffer from influenza in an average year. More than 250 million Americans, which is more than 4 out of 5 individuals, are recommended by the CDC to get immunized, yet vaccination rates remain low.


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SOURCE American Lung Association of Florida
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