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:
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.