To the Editor:
The Indiana Adult Immunization Coalition is a voluntary group of health and older adult focused organizations dedicated to eradicating vaccine preventable deaths and disease among adults.
This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that on average, 5-20 percent of the U.S. population will suffer from influenza this year. In Indiana, that means up to 1,226,946 Hoosiers will be affected.
Despite serious health risks associated with influenza, many people are not getting immunized. More than four out of five Americans should be vaccinated every year, which means it's likely each one of us knows someone whose well being, good health or life depends on getting an influenza immunization each and every year.
Influenza is a serious respiratory illness. On average, about 36,000 Americans die and about 226,000 people are hospitalized in the U.S. every year. Complications from influenza can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.
Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent influenza and its complications.
It is recommended that pregnant women and anyone with a chronic health condition such as asthma, COPD, heart disease or diabetes receive an annual influenza immunization.
Vaccination programs have started in many areas and will continue through March when the influenza virus peaks. If you need to get a flu shot, check www.flucliniclocator.org, which is the largest online directory of public influenza clinics.
Dr. Roland Grieb,