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Media Contact: Tom Grant
tgrant@adventisthealthcare.com
301-315-3356

Published on September 12, 2012

Adventist HealthCare Launches Fifth Annual Flu Campaign

Campaign Encourages Flu Prevention through Vaccination

Rockville, Md.Adventist HealthCare launched its fifth annual flu vaccination campaign today, which focuses on prevention to help stop the spread of the flu in the region. The “Help Stop the Flu” campaign provides the public with access to local flu shot clinics and encourages the community to take immediate action against the flu through vaccinations and prevention.

Starting in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began to recommend that everyone at least six months of age get a flu shot. Each year in the U.S., it’s estimated that more than 200,000 hospitalizations occur from seasonal flu-related complications and nearly 36,000 people die.

“Getting a flu shot is the best defense you can take against getting the flu,” stated Judy Lichty, Regional Director of Health & Wellness for Adventist HealthCare. “In addition to getting vaccinated, it’s important to make healthy lifestyle choices including getting plenty of sleep and exercise, eating the right foods, and washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.”

During the 2012-2013 flu season, Adventist HealthCare will offer flu shots for adults and children in close to 50 sites throughout Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and surrounding communities. Through these clinics, Adventist HealthCare vaccinates thousands of residents each year and remains one of the largest providers of flu vaccines in Montgomery County.

As part of the annual campaign, Adventist HealthCare, in collaboration with WTOP radio and M&T Bank, will provide 103 free flu shots through a clinic on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 7-9:30 a.m. The clinic will be held at Westfield Montgomery Mall in North Bethesda.

The CDC recommends getting a flu shot each year because flu viruses are constantly changing. Flu vaccines are formulated to protect against three strains of the flu that experts believe will be most common during that season. The 2012/2013 vaccine will protect against the same H1N1 strain as last year and two new strains.

“The flu is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, young children and the elderly,” noted Lichty. “Getting vaccinated every year is the best way to protect oneself against serious flu-related complications and to stay healthy during flu season.”

For people 65 years and older, a high-dose vaccine is now available which contains four times the amount of antigen than the regular flu shot and is better able to protect those that have a weaker immune system.For adults 18-64 years of age, an intradermal vaccine is also available, which is a shot injected into the skin instead of the muscle using a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot. This shot, which costs about $8 more than the traditional flu shot, is designed to avoid the deep muscle ache sometimes associated with the normal shot.

For additional information about clinics, the seasonal flu and vaccinations, visit www.HelpStoptheFlu.com.

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 demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Adventist HealthCare includes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health Services, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Shady Grove Adventist Emergency Center, Adventist Home Care Services, Adventist Medical Group, the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children, LifeWork Strategies and Cytology Services of Maryland.

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