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Influenza is Leading Cause of Vaccine-Preventable Deaths for Kids; Despite CDC Recommendations, Moms Still Don't Vaccinate

Visiting Nurse Associations of America, Families Fighting Flu and The Clorox Company Team Up to Vaccinate Thousands of Children in October to

Make Flu Season Less Scary

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows only a small fraction of the children who need to get a flu vaccination actually get one, despite the CDC recommendations that all children six months to five years old should get vaccinated. In fact, a recent survey by the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) found almost half of moms of children under five do not get their kids vaccinated every year.

Of the 45 percent of these moms who did not follow CDC recommendations to get their kids vaccinated against the flu, one-third said they did not think it was necessary. That is why VNAA, Families Fighting Flu and The Clorox Company are teaming up to drive awareness about flu prevention and increase vaccinations nationwide through the Say "Boo!" to the Flu(TM) program.

"Nearly 100 American children under five years of age die every year from influenza(1) -- the goal of this program is to give parents the tools to help protect their families," said Richard Kanowitz, president of Families Fighting Flu. "We know moms and families have a lot going on during this time of year, so this program makes it easy to get a vaccination, and the activities add some fun for the kids, too."

Say "Boo!" to the Flu is Coming to You

The Say "Boo!" to the Flu program was created to educate families on the importance of flu vaccinations and other tips to help prevent the spread of the flu virus all fall and winter. Nationwide Say "Boo!" to the Flu events will make for a happier, healthier Halloween by getting families vaccinated before the peak of flu season, and taking the ouch out of the vaccination with games and free giveaways -- like T-shirts, stickers and Clorox disinfecting products. Say "Boo!" to the Flu hits the road October 1 in Boston, MA, and will travel across the country, ending in the San Francisco, CA, area on October 31. Visit for the complete tour schedule, a flu vaccination locator and simple flu prevention tips.

Moms Need Flu Fact Check-Up

The CDC's recommendation for flu vaccinations extends beyond all children ages six months to five years old, to anyone in frequent contact with these young children -- meaning moms, dads, grandparents and child care providers. The VNAA's survey found moms of children in this age group need help fighting the flu.

Survey Says ...

-- More than 75 percent of moms of children under five DON'T get their

whole family vaccinated against the flu. Many moms nix the needle

because they don't have time or their children are too afraid.

-- The majority of moms say they are not very concerned about their child

developing serious flu complications.

-- Only two percent of moms are concerned about a member of their family

catching the flu at home.

-- 43 percent of moms say their approach to the flu season is to "let

nature take its course."

BOO Answers ...

-- Say "Boo!" to the Flu events make it easy and fun to vaccinate the

whole family, all in one place.

-- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say children are

at high risk of serious flu complications.(2)

-- With just one sick family member at home, more than 60 percent of

household surfaces can harbor the flu virus,(3) making it important to

disinfect germ hot spots.

-- Vaccination is the first step in flu prevention, but parents should

also take these simple steps at home:

* Sing & Scrub: Make sure kids wash their hands the right way.

They should wash frequently with warm water and soap for at least

20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song


* Disinfect Hot Spots: Kids can touch up to 300 surfaces in 30

minutes, so be sure to disinfect the surfaces kids touch most

frequently -- like doorknobs, light switches, faucets or plastic

toys. Use a disinfectant designed to kill cold and flu viruses.

* Do the Elbow Cough: Teach kids to cough into elbows, not hands

where they're more likely to spread bacteria and viruses through


"The best treat we can give our children is to get them vaccinated against the flu," said Andy Carter, VNAA President. "Flu prevention is critical for families, but it doesn't have to be a chore -- Say 'Boo!' to the Flu makes it fun for the whole family."

Scare Away the Flu

It is estimated that each year in the United States, more than 20,000 children less than five years old are hospitalized due to the flu, and children less than two years old are even more likely to be hospitalized by the flu. Among children who died from the flu in the 2003-2004 flu season, 44 percent had no underlying conditions.

About Families Fighting Flu

Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (FFF) is a non-profit, volunteer-based corporation established in 2004 that is made up of families and healthcare practitioners who have experienced first-hand the death of a child due to the flu, or have had a child experience severe medical complications from the flu. As a Say "Boo!" to the Flu partner, FFF is dedicated to educating people about the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccinating children against the flu every year. For more information about FFF, go to

About Visiting Nurse Associations of America

The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) is the official national association for nonprofit, community-based Visiting Nurse Agencies (VNAs). The nation's network of 415+ VNAs share a nonprofit mission to provide cost- effective and compassionate home healthcare to some of the nation's most vulnerable individuals, particularly the elderly and individuals with disabilities. The VNAA has a wide range of resources available on its award- winning Web site about home healthcare and things to ask about when considering home healthcare. VNAA represents the largest network of nonprofit community influenza immunizers in the country. For more information or to locate a VNA near you, visit

About The Clorox Company

The Clorox Company is committed to helping make everyday life better, every day. As part of this commitment, Clorox is honored to support the Say "Boo!" to the Flu program to educate parents about the importance of flu prevention. For more information about the role of disinfecting to help prevent the spread of surface germs that can cause the flu, visit

About the Survey

Survey results are based on 1,080 online interviews with mothers of children under 10 years of age from across the United States. Interviews were conducted by Ipsos, a leading global survey-based market research company, between August 10 and August 21, 2007. The final data are statistically weighted to reflect the population of female heads of household with children in the household who are under age 10 in the United States.

With a sample of 1,080, one can say with 95% certainty that the overall results are within +/- 3.0 percentage points of what they would have been had the entire population of mothers with children under 10 years of age in the United States had been surveyed. The margin of error will be larger for sub- groupings of the survey population.

(1) Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition, "Key Messages," National

Foundation for Infectious Diseases.


(3) Influenza A study.

SOURCE The Clorox Company
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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