Letter to the Editor: Get a flu shot!

Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2011 in Opinion

Locally, between 66,418 and 265,672 Maine residents will suffer from influenza in an average year. Alarmingly, influenza immunization rates fall far short every year.

We all are “faces” of influenza and are at risk of contracting the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older receive an influenza vaccination. The recommendation reinforces annual influenza vaccination as a public health priority and highlights the need for people to talk to their health care provider about getting immunized this season.

Influenza is a serious respiratory illness that is easily spread and can lead to severe complications, even death, for you or someone with whom you come in contact. Each year in the U.S., on average, influenza and its related complications results in approximately 226,000 hospitalizations. Depending on virus severity during the influenza season, deaths can range from 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.

We at the American Lung Association urge you to make sure you and your loved ones are vaccinated against influenza this and every year. Additional information about influenza, vaccination and the Faces of Influenza initiative can be found at www.facesofinfluenza.org.



Jeffrey Seyler
President & CEO
American Lung Association of New England

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