American Lung Association Launches Nationwide Effort with Anthem Foundation to Encourage Americans to Get Flu Shot, Prepare for COVID-19 Vaccine

Universal understanding of vaccine benefits encouraged by new nationwide educational campaign

CHICAGO, Dec. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health crisis that has placed an increased focus on the importance of vaccination. To overcome the pandemic, it will take both public safety measures as well as wide-spread adoption of a COVID-19 vaccine. The American Lung Association is partnering with the Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc, to encourage all Americans to protect their lung health with safe and effective vaccinations, including getting the flu shot now and preparing to become vaccinated once the COVID-19 vaccine is available.

"Vaccines are a safe and effective way to prevent the spread of disease, protecting both individual health as well as community health and those most vulnerable," said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. "As the nation's trusted champion of lung health, the American Lung Association is working alongside Anthem Foundation to educate communities on the importance and benefits of vaccines."

With support from the Anthem Foundation, the Lung Association will leverage a combination of broad reach and targeted grassroots efforts to connect and build community trust to encourage individuals to make informed decisions on vaccines for themselves and their families. This nationwide effort on vaccine education focuses on the flu shot as well as the importance of preparing for the COVID-19 vaccine once available, as many public health experts warn of a potential "twin-demic" of both flu and COVID-19 cases, which might overwhelm hospitals and healthcare resources.

"Anthem Foundation is committed to driving national change by strengthening our communities and addressing health inequities where we live and work," said Razia Hashmi, MD, MPH, Vice President for Commercial Clinical Operations at Anthem. "Our partnership with the Lung Association is providing access to critical community services, such as vaccines, and ensuring preventative measures are being taken in an effort to create healthier generations of Americans."

Long-standing social and health inequities have resulted in COVID-19 hitting ethnic and racial minorities especially hard. Compared to white Americans, Black Americans, Latinos, and Indigenous Peoples are close to three times as likely to die from COVID-19.

All Americans over six months of age are encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to get the flu shot now to protect against influenza.

For more information on this partnership and the Lung Association's COVID-19 Action Initiative, visit

About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

About Anthem Foundation
The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the organization's commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company's year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates' donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit and its blog at

CONTACT: Allison MacMunn | American Lung Association
P: 312-801-7628 E:

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SOURCE American Lung Association

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