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Families Fighting Flu Launches Campaign to Help You 'Be a Flu Free Family'

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 General News J E 4
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January 13 Declared Families Flu Vaccination Day to Help Increase Vaccination Rates and Reduce Flu-Related Illnesses and Deaths

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 13 --

News Facts

  • Families Fighting Flu (FFF) is proud to announce its Be a Flu Free Family social media campaign to help educate and drive awareness to families about the seriousness of influenza and the importance of each member of the family getting vaccinated.
  • The campaign launches today on Families Flu Vaccination Day, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s fourth annual National Influenza Vaccination Week. This day was created to remind families, particularly children, pregnant women and caregivers of infants less than six months old that it is not too late to get vaccinated against the flu this season.
  • The Be a Flu Free Family campaign includes a new original animation featuring a young boy's perspective about this year's flu season, as well as a downloadable coloring book with scenes from the animation to help parents talk to their kids about how to stay protected against the flu.
  • The CDC recommends that all children aged six months through 18 years get vaccinated against the flu every year, as well as all persons who want to reduce the risk of becoming ill with the flu or transmitting it to others.
  • In addition to getting vaccinated against the flu, FFF recommends practicing personal hygiene habits to help stop the spread of the virus.
  • FFF reminds people that influenza is a serious disease that kills nearly 100 American children younger than five years of age every year.
  • More than 20,000 children under the age of five are hospitalized due to the flu each year.
  • Since April 2009, CDC has received reports of 289 laboratory-confirmed pediatric deaths associated with the flu.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:  http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/familiesfightflu/42001/

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100113/NY36877 )

WebEx

FFF, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the CDC united to host a WebEx on January 8 to further educate people about the importance of influenza vaccination, particularly for at-risk groups. Speakers included HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CDC expert and H1N1 Emergency Response Team co-leader, Georgina Peacock, M.D. and FFF Board member, Alissa Kanowitz.

Podcasts

Doris Stein and Denise Palmer, FFF members who lost their young daughters to influenza participated in video and audio podcasts with MommyCast to tell their personal stories and provide tips to families on how to protect their loved ones from the flu.

Quotes, Photos and Bios

Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Administrator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

  • "Getting vaccinated is the single best way to help protect yourself and your family from influenza, and it is not too late to get vaccinated this season. The vaccine against the 2009 H1N1 influenza is now widely available and I urge anyone who has not yet been vaccinated this year to do so."
  • "Influenza is unpredictable and we do not know the likelihood of future cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza, but we do know that vaccination is the single best way to reduce the health impact of flu."

Alissa Kanowitz, FFF Board member and mother of 4-1/2-year-old Amanda, who died suddenly from influenza:

  • "Our hope is that through the debut of our new animated video more people will learn and spread the word about the importance of the entire family getting vaccinated against influenza."
  • "This year and every year the entire family should get vaccinated against the flu, because prevention from the flu is only as good as the number of people who actually get vaccinated."
  • "Even a single death from influenza is tragic, which is why Families Fighting Flu continues to work hard to help educate other families about the severity of all types of influenza and the steps to take to help prevent illness."

Please contact Samantha Miller to arrange an interview and/or for additional quotes.

About Families Fighting Flu, Inc.

Established in 2004, FFF is a non-profit, volunteer organization of families who have lost a child or have had a child experience severe medical complications from seasonal or H1N1 influenza. FFF and its medical advisors are dedicated to educating people about the severity of influenza and the importance of getting vaccinated against the virus every year. For more information, visit www.familiesfightingflu.org or call 1-888-2ENDFLU (1-888-236-3358).

SOURCE Families Fighting Flu

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