Let's Fight Flu Together!

Let’s Fight Flu Together

Last month I had the opportunity to represent PTA at a meeting with the US Department of Education briefing the educational community on a collective plan to face the upcoming flu season, more specifically the H1N1 virus or Swine Flu. The briefing was hosted by Education Secretary Duncan and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I was impressed, not because we were in the room; but because I cannot recall when five federal agencies have worked on one common health concern with an “all hands on deck” point of view. Involved in the development of this plan are the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All involved are to be commended.

What we as a nation face is a serious issue. This virus struck our communities this past spring at a time when schools were dismissing and, even though the virus is still active, we dodged a bullet. Some communities have faced out-breaks over the summer but the real concerns are this fall as our students return to school and college. The plans to date are a positive step forward. Today’s message, get vaccinated. H1N1 vaccines will be available in early October. Take the time to plan a community clinic at your school, church, community center or place of work.

Please go to the CDC website for the most recent information. In addition, go to www.pta.org and check out the Let’s Fight Flu Together link. There you will find ways to plan a flu prevention clinic at your school or in your community. Working with Novartis Vaccines and Flu Busters, PTA has taken an aggressive approach in offering schools, communities and families ways to offer everyone an opportunity to get a flu shot. As an adult, I cannot recall a time when I received a flu shot; I took my chances. This year, I’m getting a shot.

This is simple, prevention. When students, teachers and families get ill a child’s learning suffers. Join me in addressing the problem before it becomes one, get a flu shot. Organize a clinic and help bring the much needed vaccine to your community and let’s stop this before it becomes a wider problem.

Until next time!

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