WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, Anne Schuchat, MD, (RADM, USPHS), Assistant Surgeon General, US Public Health Service; Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other medical/public health experts ready the public for the coming flu season at a news conference presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
Last flu season was a stark reminder of how unpredictable and severe influenza can be. There were high influenza hospitalization rates, especially in the elderly (CDC saw the highest proportion of persons 65 and older hospitalized for flu since tracking began during the 2005-06 season). Sadly, the number of pediatric deaths (161) was the highest since surveillance began (excluding the pandemic year). US public health officials are encouraging the public to prepare for the upcoming flu season by getting vaccinated. Expert panel will discuss:
-- How did we do last season? -- Final data vaccination coverage rates for the 2012-2013 season, including rates among pregnant women and healthcare workers. -- What do we need to know this season? -- Influenza vaccine supply for 2013-2014, strains included in the vaccine, multiple vaccine options for all populations. -- What is needed to increase protection for all people? -- Everyone, from 6-month-old infants to grandparents, is an important link in the chain of protection, and needs to get vaccinated each year.
In addition to Drs. Koh and Schuchat, panelists will include:
-- William Schaffner, MD, Immediate Past-President, NFID; Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. -- Paul D. Biddinger, MD, Chief, Division of Emergency Preparedness; Medical Director/Attending Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. -- Richard S. Liebowitz, M.D, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Representatives from other leading organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Families Fighting Flu, National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit, and National Association of School Nurses will also be available to provide context around data for specific populations.
Dr. Koh will lead by example and get vaccinated, calling on all individuals to protect themselves, their families, and their communities against influenza.
DATE/TIME: Thursday, September 26, 2013; 10 to 11 AM ET ---------- WHERE: The National Press Club, 13th Fl, First Amendment Lounge ------ 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC 20045 Live webcast and teleconference will be available -- Teleconference: 800-277-3988 -- Webcast: www.visualwebcaster.com/NFID2013-NewsConference
SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases