News for Immediate Release
Dec. 4, 2013
Free Flu Clinics Offered
During National Influenza Vaccination Week in Pennsylvania
Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania
Department of Health and public and private partners will be offering free flu
clinics throughout Pennsylvania during National Influenza Vaccination Week,
Dec. 8-14, a week dedicated to advising people that it isn’t too late to get
the flu vaccine.
“As families prepare to get together for the holidays, it’s a perfect
time to remind people of the importance of getting vaccinated,” Secretary of
Health Michael Wolf said. “We hope these clinics offer another convenient way
for families to protect themselves and help Pennsylvanians stay healthy into
the New Year.”
So far this year, influenza activity
has been sporadic; however, it usually picks up after Thanksgiving and there
are indications this is occurring. Now is an excellent time to get the vaccine
for those who have not yet received it.
Pennsylvania had an
extremely active flu season last year with more than 40,000 influenza cases
reported to the Department of Health resulting in more than 3,500
hospitalizations and more than 200 deaths.
“Prevention is the key to keeping older Pennsylvanians healthy,” Pennsylvania
Secretary of Aging Brian Duke said. “Through our PrimeTime Health program,
many Area Agencies on Aging are able to offer flu shots for older adults in
their areas. This partnership helps our older Pennsylvanians to get
immunized and stay healthy during the flu season.”
Other groups at high risk for developing the flu include young
children, pregnant women, anyone with chronic medical conditions and healthcare
Flu season typically runs from October through May, and often peaks
between January and March with an average of five to 20 percent of the U.S.
population developing influenza each year.
Individuals seeking vaccination from the Department of Health are
encouraged to call 877-PA-HEALTH to find a local flu clinic. Older
Pennsylvanians are encouraged to contact their Area Agency on Aging, listed in
the government section of local telephone directories or by visiting www.aging.state.pa.us.
For more information on seasonal influenza, contact your local health
care provider or visit www.health.state.pa.us.
Holli Senior or Aimee Tysarczyk, Health; 717-787-1783
Christina Reese, Aging; 717-787-3368