Protect Yourself. Protect Your Family
Re: Influenza PSAs
Dear Public Service Director:
Influenza (the flu) is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Anyone—even healthy people—can get sick from the flu and spread the virus to others. Influenza activity is high in most parts of the country and, while difficult to predict, it’s likely that influenza activity in the United States will continue for some time. CDC would like your help to encourage your viewers/listeners to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families from this serious disease. Since it is already 2013 and flu vaccines became available in August and September 2012, flu vaccine may be a little harder to find now than it was in the fall in some places. People seeking flu vaccine may need to contact more than one provider (pharmacy, health department, or doctor) to find available vaccine. The flu vaccine finder (http://flushot.healthmap.org/) may also be helpful.
CDC and other health experts recommend flu vaccination now for anyone 6 months and older who has not gotten vaccinated yet this season. While flu can make anyone sick and cause hospitalization or even death, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu, such as:
• adults 65 years of age and older,
• children younger than 5 years of age, but especially children younger than 2 years old.
• people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, and neurologic disorders; and
• pregnant women.
Please encourage your viewers/listeners to get vaccinated now to share protection, not infection, with friends and family. While it’s not too late to vaccinate, people should realize that they may need to call more than one provider to locate vaccine. Some vaccine providers may have exhausted their vaccine supplies while others may still have vaccine.
As part of our flu outreach effort, CDC has public service announcements available to stress the importance of flu vaccination and to encourage those who have not yet gotten vaccinated, to do so now. We hope you will support our efforts in spreading the word about this serious disease by frequently airing the enclosed PSAs throughout the flu season, which can last through May. The television PSA is “Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family”; and the radio PSA is “I Never Get the Flu.” Thank you for your help in disseminating this important information to help protect our communities against influenza.
Kristine Sheedy, PhD
Health Communication Science Office
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention