'Don't Play With the Flu'(TM) Campaign to Coach Families on Playing Defense Against Seasonal Flu

Originally posted at PR Newswire. You can find the full press release at http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/08-20-2009/0005080514&EDATE=, with an excerpt below.


Soccer Champions Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain Kick Off National Effort to Increase Seasonal Flu Vaccination Rates for Eligible Kids and Families

NEW YORK, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ — MedImmune, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) today officially launched “Don’t Play with the Flu,”((TM)) a national health awareness campaign that aims to highlight the importance of getting a seasonal influenza vaccination every year. “Don’t Play with the Flu” kicks off today in New York City with a one-of-a-kind soccer clinic led by soccer legends and moms Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that the single best way families can help prevent the seasonal flu is by getting a flu vaccine – every year – for those individuals who are eligible to receive it. The CDC recommends that children 6 months through 18 years of age be vaccinated annually against seasonal flu and that eligible individuals be immunized as soon as the seasonal vaccine becomes available, which can be as early as August and September.

“We know a vaccine is the best way to help protect ourselves from the flu, so my family and I get a seasonal flu vaccine as soon as we can every year,” said Mia Hamm, international soccer legend and proud mother of 2-year-old twins. “That way we can concentrate on all the other things we regularly do to stay healthy on and off the field and in our busy lives.”

The campaign reminds families of one key soccer term, G.O.A.L., when thinking about seasonal influenza prevention:

  • Get a seasonal flu vaccine every year for eligible family members.
  • Options are available. Talk to your healthcare provider about what type of flu vaccine – the shot or the nasal spray – is right for you and your family members.
  • Avoid germs and illness. Wash hands often, cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue or arm sleeve, avoid those who are sick, and keep yourself and family members home when sick.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle with plenty of sleep, proper nutrition, frequent exercise and plenty of liquids.

“Along with all the things that parents know are important for helping keep their kids healthy – like washing hands and getting enough sleep – influenza vaccination should be at the top of the list. It’s a smart defense to help protect our kids – and our families – from seasonal flu,” said Anat R. Feingold, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease expert. “And because kids can spread the flu, including at school, it’s important that parents ask about an annual flu vaccine as soon as it is available. Back-to-school and sports physicals can be the perfect opportunity.”    (The press release continues at http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/08-20-2009/0005080514&EDATE=)