HEALTH

Chicago Mayor takes opportunity to promote flu shots at Walgreens flagship grand opening

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday joined representatives from Walgreens to celebrate the grand opening of a new Walgreens flagship store in the Bucktown-Wicker Park neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon, taking the opportunity to remind Chicagoans about the importance of getting a flu shot this season.

“This new flagship Walgreens not only provides dozens of new jobs for Chicagoans, it serves as an anchor for these neighborhoods, and is opening just in time to add to the city’s flu prevention efforts this season,” Emanuel said. “It’s important for people across the city to take steps that keep them healthy. The city has launched an interactive online tool to help Chicagoans find flu shot locations, and has crafted partnerships to provide additional opportunities for people to get flu shots right in their own neighborhoods."

This week, the Chicago Department of Public Health is teaming with Walgreens and community partners across Chicago to remind Chicagoans that "It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot," and is launching the first Vaccinate Chicago Week, which runs through Dec. 8. 

“We’re proud to welcome Mayor Emanuel to this great new location to reinforce the need for prevention and protection from influenza,” commented Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “We continue to work together to develop new programs that bring our pharmacists and Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners into Chicago communities, providing greater access to flu shots and other immunizations. Initiatives like Vaccinate Chicago Week can go a long way toward keeping Chicago healthy throughout the cold and flu season.”

 

 

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HEALTH

CDC: Influenza season officially underway

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The influenza season is officially underway as flu incidence is already above the national threshold, Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters during a teleconference Monday. "This is the earliest regular flu season we’ve had in nearly a decade, since the 2003-2004 flu season," he said. "That was an early and severe flu year, and while flu is always unpredictable, the early nature of the cases as well as the specific strains we’re seeing suggest that this could be a bad flu year."

Influenza-like illness activity is particularly strong across five states in the southeastern and south central regions, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. Moderate levels of illness activity have been reported in Georgia and Missouri. 

One of the predominant strains includes an H3N2 influenza A, Frieden noted. "What we’ve seen in past years is that H3 predominant years tend to be the worst years."

However, those who have had their flu shots should be well-protected, Frieden added. Out of the flu strains that have been submitted to the CDC so far this season, about 90% are well-matched to this year’s flu vaccine. According to CDC estimates, approximately 112 million people have been vaccinated against influenza so far this year, or approximately 37% of the U.S. population over the age of six months. "It’s a little higher among children with an estimate of 40%, and 35% in adults," noted Melinda Wharton, acting director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Influenza vaccination is continuing and our expectation is that as the season progresses, that coverage will rise," she said. "[Last year] it was 48% by end of the influenza season for the general population, six months of age and older."

The number of flu shots administered over the past several years has steadily increased, Frieden added. "We’re seeing that work sites and pharmacies are major sources of vaccination for adults, with more than a third of the vaccines being given either at work sites or pharmacies," he said.

 

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HEALTH

Kowa Health Care America introduces two supplements to U.S. market

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES — Kowa Health Care America recently launched two supplement products into the U.S. marketplace — NutriDiet, a diet aid, and Okinawa Life. 

NutriDiet has been formulated to aid in the digestion of food and absorption of key nutrients necessary for internal balance. The formulation includes probiotics, prebiotics and green tea catechins in an effort to improve overall health. The combination helps to promote intestinal health, while assisting in burning fat to create a healthy weight balance.

“Our innovative digestive health and anti-aging supplements, including NutriDiet, are intended to provide holistic, nutritional solutions for a healthier lifestyle," stated Tony Hatori, Kowa Health Care CEO. "All of our products come from natural ingredients, many cultivated using organic farming methods, mostly in Japan, and are free of artificial flavors, preservatives and alcohol.”

Okinawa Life infuses three ingredients to create an optimal supplement for the maintenance of active, healthy lifestyles. The ingredients include soy isoflavones; Zedoary, a purple turmeric; and Goya, a bitter melon. 

 

 

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