The American Nurses Association (ANA) and actress Rita Wilson are urging Americans to get their flu vaccination this season, especially the approximately 200 million Americans at most risk for flu complications.
The Race to 200M, a collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, elevates the urgency of flu vaccination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during the 2020-2021 season due to the convergence of the flu and COVID-19.
“I am proud to join ‘The Race to 200M’ and want to personally encourage every American, especially those most at risk of flu complications, to speak to their healthcare provider about getting a flu shot,” Wilson said. “I had COVID-19 and I know firsthand the critical role of our healthcare providers, especially nurses. During this unprecedented time, we should all do our part to take flu preventive measures—including getting a flu shot—to help reduce the strain on our healthcare system. I am getting my flu shot and I encourage you to do the same. Together, we can make a difference.”
While anyone can get the flu, certain people are at increased risk of flu-related infection and complications, including adults 50 years of age and older and people living with chronic health conditions. By the time U.S. adults reach age 55, it’s estimated nearly 80% have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition and nearly half have been diagnosed with two or more, including lung or heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. These individuals are more vulnerable to complications from the flu.
“The American Nurses Association appreciates the opportunity to partner with Sanofi Pasteur and Rita Wilson on this urgent call to action to increase the number of people who get a flu vaccination this year,” said ANA President, Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN. “We have seen the crippling impact of COVID-19 on our healthcare system. This year, more than ever, we encourage every nurse to be vaccinated against the flu, and for all Americans to speak to a healthcare professional about how to safely get vaccinated, to protect their health and lessen the overall impact on our healthcare system.”
In the 2019-2020 flu season, influenza sent up to 740,000 people to the hospital with flu complications, and although most recovered, influenza caused up to 62,000 deaths in the United States.
The campaign has garnered extensive media coverage in national news outlets, including Newsweek, NPR, Self, U.S News and World Report, Buzzfeed, and Cinema Blend. On social media, engagement was high across ANA’s key platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Visit TheRaceto200M.com to learn more about the campaign.
TheRaceto200M.com: Access information about the flu, the importance of vaccination, frequently asked questions, how to get safely vaccinated, and where to locate the closest flu vaccination site near your home.
ANA Immunize: Read ANA’s position statement on immunizations and access educational materials and resources for healthcare providers and consumers.
CDC influenza information for health professionals: Find key information about vaccination, infection control, prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of seasonal influenza, as well as recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.