Friday, October 17, 2008

Cast your vote, get your flu shot on Nov. 4

Any idea on what day — and in which place — 126 million Americans are planning to show up right near the beginning of flu season? Hint: It's been in the news a lot lately.

That's right. On Nov. 4, millions of Americans will be heading to their neighborhood polling places — which is exactly where some of us will be able to receive our seasonal flu shots.

Through Vote & Vax, a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the nonprofit Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration, you could have the chance to receive your flu shot at your neighborhood polling place on Election Day 2008.

With the help of major health partners, including the American Public Health Association, planners hope that there will be more than 1,000 Vote & Vax clinics across the nation at the polls. With flu season now under way, the clinics are being held just in time. Each year, about 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized because of seasonal flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling on health officials to find new ways for getting vaccines into the arms of at-risk Americans, and this is a great strategy for doing just that. Of course Vote & Vax is not just for voters — it's for anyone who can benefit from a flu shot.

So if you haven't received your flu shot yet, Election Day is your chance. Check the Vote & Vax Web site to see if a clinic is scheduled in your area.

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