September 22, 2017

CDPH Reminds Residents to “Love the City, Hate the Flu”

Awareness campaign encourages residents to protect themselves and others by getting a flu shot
Chicago - As part of their ongoing efforts to limit the negative impact of influenza, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) launched its annual awareness campaign to encourage residents to get their yearly flu shot. The campaign features transit, broadcast and digital ads in English and Spanish, and also an updated Flu Clinic Finder, that directs Chicagoans to locations where they can conveniently get a vaccine at no cost to the individual.                                                                                                                                      

In the U.S., up to 20 percent of the population is infected with the flu every year and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that every individual six months of age or older get a yearly flu shot, which protects against several strains of the virus.

“Young children and the elderly are at greater risk for getting seriously ill with influenza infections,” said CDPH Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita. “Fortunately there is a safe and effective vaccine to protect everyone from this serious infection.”

Throughout the campaign, residents are encouraged to talk to their doctor, visit their pharmacy or call 311 to get a flu shot. In addition, CDPH has teamed up with Smart Chicago Collaborative to re-launch its Flu Clinic Finder. Residents can use the web-based app to find a location nearby where they can get their flu shot. CDPH is also partnering with the Chicago Park District who is offering 200 Parks Points to every resident who receives a flu shot. Park Points is a free loyalty program where members can use points to purchase Rewards Store items and/or enter for chances to win exciting Sweepstakes prizes.

"The Chicago Park District supports CDPH’s efforts, and is pleased to offer this benefit.  We strive to give park patrons a variety of opportunities to adopt a healthier lifestyle through our programs and services, which can also be a step to flu prevention," said Michael Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO.

CDPH has also collaborated with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Aldermanic offices and various partners to host community events where residents can get their flu shot. Events are already planned in all 50 wards this year. Residents can attend any of the walk-in clinic events and should bring their Medicare or insurance card if they have one.

In addition to vaccinations, everyone can take the following basic precautions to avoid the flu:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Teach children the same healthy habits.
  • Make an extra effort to clean commonly-touched surfaces, such as countertops, tables, doorknobs, telephones and TV/stereo remote controls.
  • Do not share anything that goes in the mouth, such as drinking cups and straws.
  • Eat more whole grains, vegetables and fruit, get enough rest and stay physically fit to help the body fight off disease.
  • If you have the flu or any cold, do not infect others. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze, and promptly discard used facial tissues. If you are ill, stay home from work or school until you recover.

The campaign runs through the end of November. CDPH's Immunization program works to increase vaccine coverage levels throughout the City. The program focuses on neighborhoods and communities that face the greatest health disparities as part of Healthy Chicago 2.0, a plan focused on ensuring residents enjoy equitable access to resources, opportunities and environments that maximize their health and well-being.

To get vaccinated, talk to your doctor or call a pharmacy. If you do not have a doctor, call 311 to locate a CDPH Fast Track Immunization Clinic. You can also use the Flu Clinic Finder to locate a place nearby.

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