FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DESPITE CONFUSION, FLU VACCINE IS THE FIRST AND BEST PROTECTION AGAINST INFLUENZA
This year’s flu season is nothing to fool with, says the Indiana Health Centers’ (IHC) medical expert
Low-cost influenza vaccinations available at all IHC locations
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 2, 2011) — Every year, hundreds of Hoosiers lose their lives because of complications from the flu, and thousands get ill and lose time from work and school. The fact is: the annual influenza vaccine is the single best protection against flu season.
“We can’t stress enough how important it is to get your flu vaccinations now. It’s the first and best way to protect yourself and your family,” says Dr. Terence Drake, Medical Director, Indiana Health Centers, Inc. (IHC), an Indianapolis-based statewide network of six community health clinics.
Dr. Drake warns there are misconceptions and myths about the influenza vaccine. “There may be some confusion this year whether people vaccinated last year need to be immunized this season since the vaccine composition remains the same from last year. The answer is a clear and emphatic ‘Absolutely yes!’ A person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over the course of a year after vaccination, particularly in the elderly. So a flu shot given during one season may not provide adequate protection through later seasons,” adds Dr. Drake.
A person’s age, health situation (chronic conditions, for example weaken the immune system) can leave some people more vulnerable to infection, illness, and possibly serious complications from the same influence viruses one year after being vaccinated.
Adequate supplies of the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine are on hand at all six Indiana Health Centers (IHC) clinics in South Bend, Kokomo, Marion, Peru, Seymour and Logansport on weekdays, Saturdays and some weeknights. For locations, hours and directions, visit the IHC website at: www.IndianaHealthonline.org
All IHC community health centers serve new and current patients with insurance, or on a sliding fee scale based on income. So those who are uninsured, unemployed, or under-employed can qualify to receive their flu shots.
Influenza season can begin as early as October and is unpredictable. The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone six months and older get vaccinated against the flu starting now, even if they got vaccinated last season. The CDC also warns that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.
The medical directors at the local Indiana Health Center, Inc. locations are available for interviews with local media on recommendations for influenza vaccinations in your area.
For more information, contact Lisa Duda, Public Relations Coordinator, Indiana Health Centers, Inc. Email email@example.com or by phone: 317-576-1335.
About Indiana Health Centers
Beginning services in 1977, as a 501-c-3, Indiana Health Centers serves the medical, dental, and wellness needs of more than 80,000 uninsured, underinsured, unemployed and medically underserved patients in Indiana. As a federally-qualified health center network, IHC meets or exceeds all of the federal performance criteria. Indiana Health Centers has six major health clinics statewide–in South Bend, Marion, Kokomo, Seymour, Peru, and Logansport. For decades, Indiana Health Centers has led the state in providing extended hours, bilingual personnel, community-integrated services and field-based programs. It also operates the second largest WIC program (Women, Infants and Children) in Indiana.
Depending on the location, IHC offers medical, dental, social services, eligibility assistance with Medicaid, CHIP and HIP programs, and WIC programs. In addition, sites offer bilingual staff, lab tests done on site, health education and assistance with medications, prenatal care, preventative and wellness care (immunizations and flu vaccinations)