As the United States continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Immunize Nevada has convened the Flu and COVID-19 Task Force to address both diseases at a statewide level. And right now the task force — which is made up of state and county health agencies, healthcare professionals, pharmacies, business and other non-profit organizations — is working hard to educate Nevadans about one of the most important ways we can protect ourselves and our community: get vaccinated against the flu.
“While we don’t have a vaccine against COVID-19 yet, we do have one against the flu,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. “By getting the flu vaccine, Nevadans are protecting themselves and their community, which decreases the burden on our healthcare system so medical professionals can conserve their resources to fight COVID-19.”
Immunize Nevada partnered with Estipona Group, a communications agency based in Northern Nevada, to create a multi-media campaign reminiscent of the community-rallying messages of the 1940s, when Americans were asked to join in support of an Allied victory in World War II. The campaign (which includes tv, radio, print, online and social media elements) calls on Nevadans to be heroes, to serve and protect during a time of war — a war against a deadly virus.
The stylized ads feature photographs of real Nevadans representing groups most at risk (of flu and COVID-19), including seniors, healthcare workers, hospitality workers, other essential workers, seniors and pregnant women.
“Many of the symptoms for flu and COVID-19 are similar, and both could mean hospitalization or even death,” said Immunize Nevada Executive Director Heidi Parker. “Flu vaccines have been given to millions of Americans for more than 50 years, and research shows that people who get the flu vaccine are less likely to get the flu, be hospitalized or even die from the flu.”
Nevadans are responding by getting their flu vaccines, which means some healthcare outlets are running low on their supply. Manufacturers are continuing to ship vaccine, though Nevadans should call first to ensure availability.
“COVID-19 complicates things, so we’re recommending people get their flu shots as soon as they can and no later than the end of November,” Parker says. “However, flu viruses will likely be circulating through the spring, so it’s never too late.”
Information on the flu and the flu vaccine can be found at www.nvflufighter.org. For more information about Immunize Nevada and its mission to ensure that people across Nevada can access vaccines, healthcare, and other resources they need to stay healthy, visit www.immunizenevada.org.
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