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Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi Joins American Lung Association of Michigan to Address Seriously Low Vaccination Rates; Urge Metro-Detroiters to Get Immunized This Season

Local 'Faces of Influenza' Karen Newman and LaShell Griffin Asking Everyone, Especially Mothers, to Protect Themselves and Their Families This

and Every Year

Photo Opportunity/Media Advisory

DETROIT, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ --

WHAT: Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Gold Medalist

Karen Newman, "Voice of the Detroit Red Wings"

LaShell Griffin, Oprah's Pop Star Challenge Winner

Olympic Gold Medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi has joined the

American Lung Association of Michigan's Faces of Influenza

campaign to encourage influenza vaccination throughout the winter

months and into the spring to help protect against this serious

virus and boost alarmingly low state immunization rates among

children and adults.

Popular Detroit entertainers Karen Newman, the "Voice of the

Detroit Red Wings," and LaShell Griffin, 2004 winner of Oprah

Winfrey's Pop Star Challenge, are also partnering on the campaign

to encourage increased immunization in Michigan. Karen and

LaShell, both mothers of children with asthma, know firsthand the

importance of vaccination against this dangerous illness, which

causes between 100,000 and 300,000 cases in Wayne County each

year. Additionally, between 500,000 and 2,000,000 residents of

Michigan suffer from influenza in an average year, according to

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

WHEN: Tuesday, December 11, 2007

10 a.m.-Noon: Kristi, LaShell and Karen will be at the Detroit

Skating Club encouraging participants to get immunized and

signing autographs.

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) will administer


Vaccinations will be administered by the VNA to anyone six months

of age and older wishing to receive influenza immunization for

$25 cash or check. The VNA also accepts Blue Care Network, HAP,

Priority Health (formerly CareChoices) and Medicare Part B.

People should bring their picture identification and insurance


WHERE: Detroit Skating Club

888 Denison Court

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

WHY: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(CDC), between approximately 45,500 and 180,000 Detroiters will

suffer from influenza in an average year. More than two out of

every three Americans are recommended for annual vaccination but

immunization rates fall far short every year, leaving many

unprotected and at risk for severe illness. Only about 15 percent

of healthy adults in Michigan are vaccinated every year, while

just 30 percent of Michiganians at high-risk of developing

influenza-related complications receive an annual immunization. *

Since the influenza season typically does not peak until

February, vaccination should continue throughout the fall and

winter months.

Approximately 36,000 Americans die and about 226,000 are

hospitalized due to influenza and its complications nationwide

every year. Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent

influenza and its complications.



-- Kristi Yamaguchi, Karen Newman and LaShell Griffin.

-- Faces of Influenza portrait gallery - an exhibition which

displays dramatic black-and-white portraits and compelling

personal stories of famous and not-so-famous Americans who

fall into one or more of the groups recommended for

immunization by the CDC

-- Public getting influenza vaccinations

INFO: For more information about the Faces of Influenza initiative or

to find nearby influenza vaccination clinics, visit . The American Lung Association's Faces

of Influenza campaign is made possible through a collaboration

with sanofi pasteur.

* According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccination

coverage rate for high-risk adults 18-49 years of age (as of the

2005-2006 season).

SOURCE American Lung Association of Michigan
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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