NYC mayor Bloomberg, health commissioner Farley highlight importance of flu preparedness

NEW YORK — New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and health commissioner Thomas Farley received their seasonal flu vaccine on Saturday at a Duane Reade pharmacy in the Bronx, demonstrating the importance of taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Every year, New Yorkers lose their lives to the flu, and a flu shot is the single most important protection against getting sick and spreading the flu to others,” Bloomberg said. “I urge everyone to go to their doctor, local health clinic or pharmacy and get a flu shot as soon as they can.”

“A perfect example of preventive care is getting your annual flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones. And no one makes it easier to get immunized in New York City than Duane Reade and Walgreens,” Walgreens market VP Jeff Koziel said. Duane Reade is a subsidiary of Walgreens. “Flu shots are available at our pharmacies daily with no appointment necessary during all pharmacy hours. We appreciate mayor Bloomberg and commissioner Farley recognizing the important role of community pharmacists in health care.” 

Flu shots are covered under Medicare Part B, as well as most insurance plans. All Duane Reade and Walgreens pharmacies also offer Fluzone HD, a high-dose influenza vaccine for those over ages 65 years and older, in addition to other qualified individuals.

The typical flu season coincides with the busiest travel period of the year, and last season that spelled trouble for more than 3 million U.S. vacationers whose trips were interrupted by flu-related illness, as the Walgreens Flu Impact Report suggested.

The findings in the survey, which were previously reported by Drug Store News, examined the effects of influenza on people’s everyday lives and showed how the flu affected Americans’ vacations, holidays, social engagements, sporting events and more. 

Last flu season, based on survey projections, millions of life’s special events may have been impacted, including: 

  • More than 600,000 graduations;

  • Missed 
more than 1 million weddings were not attended;

  • More than 3 million vacations were canceled or interrupted ;

  • Nearly 5 million holiday celebrations were missed; and

  • More than 5 million sporting events were missed.

The Walgreens survey was fielded Sept. 1 to 8, 2011, to a Vision Critical Springboard America panel to a nationally representative sample of 1,200 Americans ages 18 years or older.

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