ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The beginning of a new school year may be hectic or you may be working long hours trying to finish the year strong, but there should be no excuse to not get your annual influenza vaccination. Each year in the United States, people of all ages – from the very young to the elderly – catch this highly-contagious and potentially deadly disease. In fact, in the United States, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu each year, which includes approximately 20,000 children under the age of five. And most years, nearly 100 children die due to the flu. All of this can be prevented with one simple action: getting an influenza vaccination.
"In 2009, I lost my healthy 5-year-old son Joseph to the flu," said Serese Marotta, Chief Operating Officer of Families Fighting Flu. "The following year, my husband and I joined Families Fighting Flu, an organization dedicated to raising awareness through the sharing of personal stories and experiences with the flu to help others better understand it can be very dangerous and even deadly, particularly for children. Now, as Chief Operating Officer, I am committed to educating others about this vaccine-preventable disease, a cause that is near and dear to my heart. My hope is to do all that we can to educate others about the seriousness of influenza and to advocate for annual flu vaccinations to ensure no other family has to experience the loss that we did."
Proven safe and effective, the flu vaccine is the best preventative measure available to help protect against flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months of age and older receive an annual flu vaccination.
"Getting an annual flu vaccination not only protects yourself, it also helps protect people around you," said Flor M. Munoz, M.D., MSc, a leading pediatric infectious disease specialist from Baylor College of Medicine. "I encourage everyone to get their flu vaccination as soon as it becomes available in your area. This is the best way to ensure that we are doing our part to be protected against influenza, a disease that can be very serious, especially for children. Infants less than 6 months of age for whom no vaccine is available, young children, and people with underlying medical conditions are protected when their family members, and others they are in contact with, get their influenza vaccine."
About Stay in the Game
For more than a decade, Families Fighting Flu's mission has been focused on opening everyone's eyes to the fact that flu is dangerous, we are all at risk, and we all need to team up when it comes to the fight against influenza. Core to the organization's efforts is a campaign called Stay in the Game™, which seeks to educate about the importance of annual flu vaccination and reminds us that nobody should ever be 'too busy' to protect themselves and those around them against this potentially deadly disease. To Stay in the Game means to not miss out on the things you love to do because you've come down with the flu. Whether you love playing sports, going to the playground or hanging out with friends, getting an annual flu vaccination is the best way to stay healthy and to not miss out on the fun. For more information about Stay in the Game, to watch the PSA or to download/request free educational resources, please visit: https://www.familiesfightingflu.org/stay-in-the-game.
About Families Fighting Flu
Families Fighting Flu is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) volunteer-based advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the lives of children and their families. Our organization includes families whose children have suffered serious medical complications or died from influenza, as well as other advocates and health care practitioners committed to flu prevention. In honor of our children, we work to increase awareness about the seriousness of the disease and to reduce the number of childhood hospitalizations and deaths caused by the flu each year by increasing vaccination rates.
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SOURCE Families Fighting Flu