NEW YORK, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association announced today it will collaborate on a new, far-reaching influenza public awareness initiative with sanofi pasteur, the nation's leading influenza vaccine manufacturer. As the nation's oldest voluntary health organization, the Lung Association will expand its annual influenza awareness efforts to educate the public about influenza and the need for vaccination through support and resources from sanofi pasteur, a consistent and reliable supplier of influenza vaccine for nearly 40 years in the U.S.
This American Lung Association educational initiative, Faces of Influenza, will be launched this fall to encourage influenza vaccination among high-risk groups such as the elderly and children, their contacts, the general public, and health care providers. The Faces of Influenza campaign will also be available online, where it will feature a number of interactive components, including the Lung Association's Flu Clinic Locator (the largest online directory of public influenza clinics on the Web).
"Influenza can be a deadly disease that many people do not take seriously," said John L. Kirkwood, president and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Through this collaboration, the Lung Association is able to embark on an aggressive public awareness and education effort for the upcoming season to educate healthy and high-risk people about the dangers of influenza and the need to get vaccinated every year."
As part of the initiative, the American Lung Association will work on a variety of activities this fall to provide public awareness programs to encourage annual influenza immunization.
Influenza is a serious respiratory illness with associated complications that kills an average of 36,000 Americans and puts more than 200,000 in the hospital each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adults and children with a chronic medical condition, such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and diabetes, are at higher risk for complications from influenza. Persons age 50 and older; pregnant women and children 6 through 59 months of age, as well as anyone wishing to reduce their risk for contracting influenza, should be vaccinated to help prevent complications from influenza.
About the Flu Clinic Locator
In addition to the new campaign, the Lung Association continues to offer its Flu Clinic Locator as a public service. The Flu Clinic Locator at http://www.lungusa.org is an online resource for finding flu shots. The Lung Association's Flu Clinic Locator is the largest interactive Web site of its kind, enabling individuals to find the most convenient location to obtain a flu shot. Last year more than 30,000 public clinics were promoted from this site from across the country.
By typing in their 5-digit zip code, site visitors can receive a list of clinics in their surrounding area offering the vaccine. The Flu Clinic Locator is active from September through May.
About the American Lung Association
Beginning our second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined.
The American Lung Association funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is "Improving life, one breath at a time."
For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or log on to http://www.lungusa.org.
Contact: Ilana Tabak
American Lung Association
On behalf of the Lung Association
American Lung Association