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The American Lung Association of the Central States Encourages Kansas City Residents to See Themselves Among the Many 'Faces' of Influenza
Date:12/8/2008

Local Community Leaders Join the Faces of Influenza Campaign to Promote Annual Vaccination

American Lung Association Supports National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 8-14); Urges Immunization Throughout the Winter and Spring

KANSAS CITY, MO., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Health experts recommend annual influenza vaccination for nearly 250 million people in the U.S. Despite this recommendation, influenza immunization rates fall far short every year. Locally, between 22,500 and 89,500 Kansas City area residents will suffer from influenza in an average year.

Many community leaders, including the Kansas City Public Health Department, Children's Mercy Hospital, the Mid America Immunization Coalition, Unified Government Health Department, Kansas City Wellness Network and the Greater Kansas City APIC Chapter 031, are partnering with the American Lung Association of the Central States' Faces of Influenza campaign, a national educational campaign designed to help Americans see themselves and their loved ones among the many "faces" of influenza -- target groups recommended for vaccination.

They are also joined by Kansas City's "face" of influenza Julie Moise, who lost her 6 1/2-month-old son, Ian, due to complications of influenza five years ago.

"Many people think they should get vaccinated only if they are at risk for developing complications from influenza," said Julie. "What they don't realize is that if you simply are around someone at risk, like young children or people with chronic medical conditions, then you need to get vaccinated every year, too. It's the best protection you can offer yourself, and everyone around you."

Influenza, along with its complications, is a serious respiratory illness. On average, 36,000 Americans die and about 226,000 people are hospitalized in the U.S. every year. Vaccination is a safe and effective way
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SOURCE The American Lung Association
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