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New Campaign for Flu Vaccine

December 9, 2010

OLYMPIA (Washington State Department of Health News Release) - The state's new flu education campaign starts this week to remind people of the importance of getting vaccinated against the flu. The ads take a lighter approach to promote healthy behaviors and sing the praises of healthy Washingtonians.

The campaign uses a humorous play on words to describe Washington as WashYourHandsingTon ? where everyone washes their hands, covers their cough, and gets the flu vaccine.

"We use a fun approach to get people's attention, and then remind them that flu is serious and getting vaccinated will keep you well," said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. "We want Washington to be the state where people 'give high-fivers, not high fevers!'"

The campaign includes radio ads, a YouTube video, bus cards, and billboards ? all on the Department of Health's WashYourHandsingTon (www.doh.wa.gov/FluNews/handsington.htm) website.

Flu can make anyone sick, especially people who are at greater risk for serious flu-related complications. Everyone six months and older should get a yearly flu shot to protect themselves and their loved ones. This is especially important for families with babies under six months who are too young to get the flu vaccine.

For full protection, kids under nine may need two doses of flu vaccine given at least one month apart. The state buys flu vaccine for all kids six months through 18 years and gives it to health care providers in the state at no cost. Providers may charge an office visit or other fee.

This week is also National Influenza Vaccination Week. Check with your local health agency, health care provider, or on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu.gov website (www.flu.gov/news/nivw.html) to find events in your area.

To find an immunization clinic, call your health care provider, use the agency's Flu News website (www.doh.wa.gov/FluNews/default.htm), or call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588. The American Lung Association's Flu Vaccine Finder is also a good resource (www.lungusa.org/lung-disease/influenza/flu-vaccine-finder/).

Funding for the WashYourHandsingTon campaign comes from federal grant money that is specifically designated to help educate people about flu and the importance of flu vaccine.

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