FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2008
Contact: Hollis Calhoun, 917-647-0485
Vote & Vax Flu Shot Clinics Operating At More Than 250 Polling Sites Nationwide
Lakeville, CT - Thousands of people will be able to receive an influenza vaccination at special flu shot clinics being held at or near polling sites across the United States. More than 280 clinics are part of the Vote & Vax project, a non-partisan and non-political public health effort designed to help increase flu vaccination rates.
The clinics are taking place in 41 states plus the District of Columbia The project takes advantage of the fact that more than 125 million people -- many of them at risk for getting the flu this season -- will visit a polling site this presidential election season. Some clinics are being held at early-voting locations; however, the majority of the clinics will talk place on Election Day, November 4.
"Vote and Vax is a very practical public health innovation that makes flu shots available at or near polling sites. It's a great way to protect the health of older Americans and of others who can benefit from the vaccination," says Doug Shenson, MD, MPH, director of the national Vote & Vax program.
It is estimated that more than half of all likely voters will be over the age of 50, a population that is at high risk for the flu. Therefore, these clinics will be instrumental in reaching vulnerable populations. Approximately 36,000 people die and thousands more are hospitalized each year as a result of the flu.
Vote & Vax is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and directed by the New England-based nonprofit Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC). Vote & Vax is collaborating with major national public health and public service organizations including AARP, American Public Health Association, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Association of Immunization Managers, Immunization Coalitions Technical Assistance Network, National Association of County and City Health Officials and Visiting Nurse Associations of America.
For more information about Vote & Vax, including information on clinic locations, please visit www.voteandvax.org.