Lung Association Offers Online Flu Clinic Locator

Albany, New York (September 14, 2009)

 The American Lung Association in New York announced the availability of its 2009-2010 online Flu Clinic Locator which allows New Yorkers to easily search by zip code for nearby public influenza vaccination clinics where they can get their seasonal flu shot. The online directory is available at www.flucliniclocator.org. The site can also be accessed through the Lung Association’s website by visiting www.alany.org and clicking on the “Find a Flu Clinic” icon.

“Making the decision whether to get a flu shot should not be taken lightly,” said Deborah Carioto, Interim President and CEO of the American Lung Association in New York. “Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent influenza and its complications. This Flu Clinic Locator gives people the tools and guidance they need to make scheduling their flu shot, and ensuring that they are prepared for their appointment, easier.”
In addition to allowing people to search for clinic locations by zip code, the locator also provides an option to set up an appointment e-mail reminder and to sign up for influenza-specific updates throughout the season. There are also tips about what to do before you go to the clinic for a flu shot.

Anyone who wants to prevent influenza in themselves or others should be vaccinated each year. Adults and children with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, weakened immune systems and diabetes are at increased risk for complications from influenza and should be immunized every year. People 50 years of age and older, pregnant women, and children 6 months through 18 years of age, as well as their household contacts, should be vaccinated to help prevent influenza-related complications and the spread of this dangerous disease. The CDC recently has expanded its recommendations for annual vaccination to include all children 6 months through 18 years of age. The Lung Association notes that the potential severity of the H1N1 virus (swine flu) this fall remains uncertain at this time. Special recommendations, including possible H1N1 vaccination guidelines, may be issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for children and adults who are at greater risk for complications from influenza. These recommendations and updates can be accessed online by visiting: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.

For more information about seasonal influenza, and to use the flu clinic locator, visit www.alany.org.

Quick Facts about Seasonal Influenza

 On average, 36,000 Americans die and about 226,000 people are hospitalized each year due to seasonal influenza and its complications.

 Adults and children with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, weakened immune systems and diabetes are at increased risk for complications from influenza and should be immunized every year.

 People 50 years of age and older, pregnant women, and children 6 months through 18 years of age, as well as their household contacts, should be vaccinated to help prevent influenza-related complications and the spread of this dangerous disease.

 Vaccination typically begins in October and can continue through March.

 In most seasons, influenza virus activity peaks in February or March, so vaccination throughout the entire influenza season is beneficial and recommended, as it only takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to take effect.

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