ALBANY, NY (09/24/2008)(readMedia)-- The American Lung Association of New York today unveiled a searchable, online resource for finding flu clinics across New York State. The online directory of public influenza vaccination clinics, available at www.flucliniclocator.org, makes finding a flu clinic easy and convenient.
"Whether to get a flu shot is not a decision to sneeze at," said Louise Vetter, Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association of New York. "Vaccination is a safe, effective way to prevent influenza and its complications, and the flu shot locator is a useful resource to find a flu shot near you."
The American Lung Association's Flu Clinic Locator is an easy-to-use online resource, enabling individuals to find the most convenient place to get their flu shot. The locator includes more than 40,000 clinic locations in New York State, searchable by ZIP code. It also provides the option to set up an appointment e-mail reminder, along with the opportunity to sign up for influenza-specific updates throughout the season.
Adults and children with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, weakened immune systems and diabetes, are at increased risk for complications from influenza and should be immunized every year. Further, all school age children -- five through 18 years of age - should be vaccinated, as this segment of the population is among the main transmitters of the flu virus. Studies have shown that vaccinating school age children is likely to be effective in preventing influenza in populations at high risk for complications associated with the flu, especially older people.
For more information on the flu, and to use the flu shot locator visit www.alany.org.
Quick Facts about the Flu:
-- On average, 36,000 Americans die and 226,000 people are hospitalized each year due to influenza and its complications. In New York, there are approximately 2,300 deaths and 13,000 hospitalizations related to influenza each year.
-- People 50 years of age and older, pregnant women, and children through 18 years of age, as well as their household contacts, should be vaccinated to help prevent influenza-related complications and the spread of this dangerous disease.
-- Vaccination typically begins in October and can continue through March.
-- In most seasons, influenza virus activity peaks in February or March, so vaccination throughout the entire influenza season is beneficial and recommended, as it only takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect.