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News Release

Media Contact: Tom Grant

Published on October 08, 2007

Adventist HealthCare Flu Shot Clinics Signal Start of 2007-2008 Flu Season

Ample Vaccine Provides Opportunity for All Members of the Community to Receive Flu Shots This Fall


 View 2007-2008 Community Flu Shot Clinic Dates

Rockville, MD – Flu season is almost here and the message this year is simple- young or old, a flu shot will help you stay healthy this winter. Adventist HealthCare has already started offering flu shots to the community through its annual flu shot clinics. This year, Adventist’s two local hospitals – Washington Adventist in Takoma Park and Shady Grove Adventist in Rockville – will vaccinate more than 11,000 adults and children in Montgomery County and surrounding areas against seasonal influenza, or the flu. Adventist also provides flu shots to local businesses for their employees.

"The important message this year is that there is enough flu vaccine for everyone so all age groups, including children over six months, the elderly and healthy adults, should get their flu shots," explains Judy Lichty, Regional Director of Health and Wellness for Adventist HealthCare.

This year the vaccine is readily available so all age groups are being encouraged to get vaccinated to help decrease the spread of influenza this winter. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends that high-risk populations get vaccinated against influenza each year, including:

  • Children aged 6 months until their 5th birthday;
  • Pregnant women;
  • People 50 years of age and older;
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions;
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu.

In recent years, many people have skipped the annual vaccination due to unavailability of the vaccine or misunderstandings about effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.

"One of the common myths about flu shots is that it can give you influenza," notes Dr. Gaurov Dayal, Chief Medical Officer at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and a pediatrician. "Flu shots may not completely prevent the flu, but getting a flu shot can help lessen the severity and duration of the flu. This is particularly important for at-risk populations, such as the elderly, pregnant women and young children."

It takes about two weeks for the antibodies in a flu shot to provide full protection. Most experts recommend getting vaccinated in October or November. Experts also recommend several steps to stay healthy during the flu season, with or without a flu shot, including frequent hand washing, drinking plenty of water or liquids, and, coughing or sneezing into a shirt sleeve instead of the hands.

Adventist’s flu shot clinics are open to everyone over the age of 18, unless a pediatric clinic is indicated. Only flu shots will be offered at these clinics, which are available on a walk-in basis. A full list of Adventist HealthCare’s 2007 flu shot clinics is available online.

Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery organization based in Rockville, Maryland, is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland. The mission of Adventist HealthCare is to deliver excellent healthcare through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Adventist HealthCare includes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health System, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, Adventist Senior Living Services, Greater Washington Sleep Disorders Centers, Adventist Health Careers Training Center, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Adventist Home Health Services, the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Children and Infants and LifeWork Strategies.

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