ORLANDO, Fla. — Sanofi Pasteur on Wednesday launched an awareness campaign to inform Florida residents ages 65 years and older about the importance of influenza protection and the key role vaccination plays in helping to improve the body's immune response against the virus.
Adults 65 years of age and older typically are the hardest hit by influenza. This new program, called Influenza Immunization for You, urges older adults to talk to their healthcare provider about vaccine options. Florida Hospital Medical Group is spearheading the initiative in the region.
"The new initiative is specially timed to occur throughout September — the time when many older adults often visit their healthcare providers to receive their annual influenza vaccination," stated Justin Menezes, a spokesman for the Orlando Family Medicine of Florida Hospital Medical Group. "We want residents 65 years of age and older to know there is a flu shot made just for them, in addition to the standard influenza vaccine."
Persons ages 65 years and older account for more than 60% of the estimated 226,000 flu-related hospitalizations in the United States. Further, about 90% of flu-related deaths that occur each year in the United States occur in this age group.
With more than 100 physician practice locations and 35 medical specialties, Florida Hospital Medical Group is Central Florida's largest multispecialty practice, caring for nearly one million patients a year. The Medical Group's more-than-250 physicians are affiliated with Florida Hospital — one of the largest not-for-profit hospitals in the country.