SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Nurses Association (ANA) and actress Rita Wilson are urging Americans to get their flu vaccination this season, especially the approximately 200 million Americans at most risk for flu complications.
The Race to 200M, a collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, elevates the urgency of flu vaccination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during the 2020-2021 season.
"The American Nurses Association appreciates the opportunity to partner with Sanofi Pasteur and Rita Wilson on this urgent call to action to increase the number of people who get a flu vaccination this year," said ANA President, Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN. "We have seen the crippling impact of COVID-19 on our healthcare system. This year, more than ever, we encourage every nurse to be vaccinated against the flu, and for all Americans to speak to a healthcare professional about how to safely get vaccinated, to protect their health and lessen the overall impact on our healthcare system."
While anyone can get the flu, certain people are at increased risk of flu-related infection and complications, including adults 50 years of age and older and people living with chronic health conditions. By the time U.S. adults reach age 55, it is estimated nearly 80 percent have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition and nearly half have been diagnosed with two or more, including lung or heart disease, diabetes and/or cancer. These individuals are more vulnerable to complications from the flu.
"I am proud to join the 'The Race to 200M' and want to personally encourage every American, especially those most at risk of flu complications, to speak to their healthcare provider about getting a flu shot," said Rita Wilson. "I had COVID-19 and I know firsthand the critical role of our healthcare providers, especially nurses. During this unprecedented time, we should all do our part to take flu preventative measures – including getting a flu shot – to help reduce the strain on our healthcare system. I am getting my flu shot and I encourage you to do the same. Together, we can make a difference."
In the 2019-2020 flu season, influenza sent up to 740,000 people to the hospital with flu complications, and although a majority recovered, influenza caused up to 62,000 deaths in the United States.
About The Race to 200M The Race to 200M elevates the importance of flu vaccination given the convergence of COVID-19 and seasonal flu. While there is no licensed vaccine for COVID-19, there are flu vaccines available to Americans. Vaccination is the best way to help protect against the flu. Preventing influenza can help reduce the risk of hospitalizations and help reduce the burden on our healthcare system.
The American Nurses Association will share information about the program via affiliate associations in states across the United States. More information is available on TheRaceto200M.com, where visitors have access to resources about flu and the importance of vaccination, tips on how to get safely vaccinated and where to locate the closest flu vaccination site near their home.
About The American Nurses Association The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4.2 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on healthcare issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of healthcare for all. For more information, visit nursingworld.org.
About Rita Wilson A celebrated musical artist, actress and producer, Rita's career to date has seen her receive a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame for her notable film work, numerous roles on hit television programs, four studio albums and performances all over the world on such iconic stages as the Grand Ole Opry and The Sydney Opera House.