BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) annual observance of National Influenza Vaccination Week to communicate the importance and availability of influenza vaccination into the winter months and beyond. It is critical that physicians and patients, especially parents of pediatric patients, remain vigilant about flu protection this and every year. NFID joins CDC in encouraging families to seek vaccination this week and urges all health care professionals, especially pediatricians and family physicians, to reinforce the importance of influenza vaccination with their patients.
To call attention to the importance of influenza vaccination for children, who bear a large disease burden, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases established the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition, a group of more than 30 leading medical, public health and parent organizations. These organizations individually are committed to protecting children's health and encouraging sustained wellness, and together with "one strong voice," seek to address and improve low influenza immunization rates among children.
CDC recommends universal influenza vaccination for everyone over the age of 6 months. Children under the age of 5 are at an increased risk of complications from influenza that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Older, school-aged children can also get very sick and miss school and extracurricular activities – and make it difficult for working parents to meet their obligations. Children are very efficient at spreading the disease – to each other, to family, friends and close contacts.
Dr. Carol Baker, past president of NFID and chair of the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition notes, "The most effective way to protect your children against influenza is annual vaccination. Influenza season doesn't usually peak until January or later, so if you or your children haven't been vaccinated yet, do so now."
Members of the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition:
# Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA)
# American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
# American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
# American College of Cardiology (ACC)
# American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
# American Lung Association
# American Medical Association (AMA)
# American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
# American Public Health Association (APHA)
# Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
# Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
# Canyon Ranch Institute
# Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at the Texas Children's Hospital
# Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
# Every Child By Two (ECBT)
# Families Fighting Flu, Inc.
# Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA)
# Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF)
# Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)
# Kaiser Permanente-Northern California
# National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
# National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
# National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
# National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)
# National Association of School Nurses (NASN)
# National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)
# National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
# National Medical Association (NMA)
# Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDs)
# Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM)
# Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) was established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination at this time of year, and encourage greater use of flu vaccine even after the holiday season. The 2010-2011 season's NIVW is scheduled for December 5–11, 2010, and Monday, Dec. 6th is Families Vaccination Day.
Additional information, including brief videos featuring experts, can be found at www.preventchildhoodinfluenza.org.
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit, tax-exempt (501c3) organization founded in 1973 and dedicated to educating the public and health care professionals about the causes, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. NFID established the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) in 2007 to help increase awareness and education about pediatric influenza and benefits of immunization. Coalition members include more than 30 of the nation's leading public health, medical, patient and parent groups. The Coalition is made possible through an unrestricted educational grant to NFID from sanofi pasteur.
SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)