Native Talk Arizona to feature influenza immunization health segment on August 19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      

By Blake Harper, M.P.H. – Project Manager, Kauffman & Associates, Inc
August 7, 2014

Native Talk Arizona promotes the flu vaccination campaign

You want to pass on family traditions, a grandmother’s favorite recipes, or dad’s contagious laugh, but no one wants to pass on a serious illness. Time should be spent sharing laughter, wisdom, and traditions—it should not be spent sharing the flu.

Protect the Circle of LifeCompared to the general United States’ population, American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) are more likely than other groups of people to get sick from the flu, be hospitalized for flu-related symptoms, and even die from flu-related complications. In fact, pneumonia and flu are leading causes of death among native elders over the age of 65. In 2010, AI/AN were added to the list of people for whom yearly influenza vaccinations are a priority, because they are at a higher risk for serious flu-related illnesses.

To promote the importance of the flu vaccine, Native Talk Arizona will feature an Influenza Immunization health segment with special guests, Amy Groom, the Immunization Program Manager at Indian Health Services (IHS), and Susan Levy from the Native Health clinic of Phoenix, AZ. The radio program, which is produced through a partnership between Native Health and Radio Phoenix, is a weekly series that spotlights cultural, economic, and health issues through a Native American point-of-view.

Both guests are supporting the CDC’s National Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership (NIVDP), which is a national campaign spearheaded by local influential partners to increase the use of flu vaccines. Ms. Levy, a partner of NIVDP, has worked hard to promote flu vaccines to the urban Indian population, as well as other AI/AN communities in the Phoenix area. Ms. Groom works nationally with IHS to increase the number of flu vaccinations that are administered each year to Indian Country.

The segment will air on Tuesday, August 19, at 7:00 p.m. MST and again on Friday, August 22, at 8:00 a.m. MST. You can tune in at radiophoenix.org. Also, the radio segment will be recorded and posted to Soundcloud.org about a week after airing.

Please protect yourself and those you care about by getting your flu shot. Even if you were vaccinated last season, you still need to get vaccinated this season for the best possible protection against the flu.

 For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine, call your state health department, CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636), or visit CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/flu. For free materials for AI/AN communities, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/print.htm.

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