January 14, 2010
Dear Day Care Providers,
As part of Influenza Immunization Week in Louisiana, the Departments of Social Services (DSS) and Health and Hospitals (DHH) are reminding you that it's not too late to vaccinate for this year's flu season.
It is especially important that children, caregivers of children less than six months old and pregnant women receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccination.
Children of all ages are at increased risk of influenza illness, especially children under the age of 2, and children of any age who have chronic health conditions like asthma, neurological conditions, heart disease or diabetes are at increased risk for complications from flu. Getting the flu can cause children to miss school and activities, and sometimes result in hospitalization or even death.
Caregivers of children under six months old are strongly recommended to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine because these children are not old enough to receive the vaccine and could become very sick if they get the flu. The best way to protect these children is to make sure that their caregivers and other adults and children who live with them get vaccinated.
A pregnant woman who gets flu has a greater chance for serious problems and even death from influenza. Receiving a vaccination during pregnancy can reduce the risk of influenza for a mother and for her baby.
Although an unprecedented number of people have received flu vaccinations this year, most still have not gotten the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. Influenza is unpredictable and we do not know the likelihood of a future wave of 2009 H1N1 influenza, but we do know that vaccination is the single best way to reduce the health impact of influenza.
Please download, print and display these posters in your child care facility to remind parents and staff of the importance of the 2009 H1N1 vaccination.
Additionally, we continue to urge you to report influenza-type illnesses in your child care center at the DSS Web site. DSS and DHH use this information to assist centers and keep track of outbreaks of flu-like illnesses around the state. Reporting illnesses in your centers allows for communication and direction of additional information and resources that may be helpful in preventing a further outbreak in your center.
Report influenza-type illnesses at www.dss.louisiana.gov/flureporting
For more information about Influenza Immunization Week in Louisiana, visit www.FightTheFluLA.com
. And for more information about National Influenza Vaccination Week and how you can get involved in this event, visit the NIVW website.
For more information about flu vaccinations, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist, or visit www.FightTheFluLA.com