COLUMBIA, Md. -- Maxim Health Systems announces that it will launch its annual influenza vaccination program. Starting on Oct. 1, 2008, Maxim will begin providing flu shots nationwide through more than 25,000 public clinics. The company's Web site,
http://www.FindAFluShot.com, helps users find a convenient location for vaccination clinics by simply typing in a local zip code to obtain times and locations of nearby clinics. Starting this flu season, FindAFluShot.com will also be accessible on mobile phones courtesy of Blue Sky Multimedia.
"Everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated," says Jeanne Santoli, deputy director of immunization services at the CDC. "Especially those considered to be at higher risk. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is by getting your annual flu vaccine."
Many Americans are not aware of the true dangers of the flu. On average, every year influenza kills almost as many Americans as breast cancer(1) and kills two to three times more Americans than HIV/AIDS(2).
"It is not too early to think about flu prevention," said Steve Pellito, national director of wellness services for Maxim Health Systems. "To remind friends and family to get their flu shots, Maxim has created a free and simple e-mail reminder tool. By typing in a name and e-mail address using the http://www.FindAFlushot.com site, Maxim will send an e-mail alert reminding you to visit the locator to find a local flu shot clinic," said Pellito.
The FindaFluShot.com Web site also provides the latest news on influenza and links to other resources to learn more about the flu and its prevention. Those who prefer to find a convenient location over the phone can call Maxim's toll free number at 877-962-9358.
Each year as many as 60 million Americans fall victim to influenza and flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, resulting in 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths per year.(3) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that vaccinations are the single most effective way to prevent flu and strongly encourages high-risk individuals to get vaccinated. This includes anyone who wants to reduce the risk of contracting the flu, and people at high risk of having serious complications from influenza, including:
- All children from six months through 18 years of age
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu
Source: Maxim Health Systems
1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Breast Cancer Statistics."
2. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report: HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2005."
3. Treanor JJ. Influenza virus. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2005:2060-2085.