Thursday, September 5, 2013

State health department launches new Facebook app to encourage flu vaccinations

To improve influenza vaccination rates in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment launched the “Do Something Easy Flu Vaccine Pledge” Facebook application (“app”). It allows Facebook users to pledge to get their flu vaccination this season and use Facebook or Twitter to encourage their friends to get vaccinated.

“We’re always searching for new and creative ways to reach out to the community to help improve our vaccination rates,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, deputy director for disease control and environmental epidemiology at the department. “The ‘Do Something Easy Flu Vaccine Pledge’ Facebook app helps us engage the public in a way we haven’t before. We’re hoping to create more awareness about the flu vaccine and remind people it truly is the easiest way you can keep yourself healthy throughout the flu season.”

During the 2012-13 flu season, there were more than 1,500 hospitalizations and five pediatric deaths caused by flu in Colorado. The annual flu vaccination is the most effective method for preventing flu virus infection and its complications. The flu vaccine is recommended for all people ages six months or older.

It is not too early to get your flu vaccines. While the timing of the flu is unpredictable and can vary from season to season, it most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, there could be cases as early as October or as late as May.

The “Do Something Easy Flu Vaccine Pledge” app can be found on the ImmunizeCO Facebook

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