Influenza Vaccine Campaign
The Philadelphia Immunization Program coordinates a citywide Community-based Influenza Vaccine Campaign for adults each year starting in October. The program vaccinates adults aged 19 through 64 years who do not have health insurance and have no alternative source for medical care, or who are unable to access their usual source of care.
The objectives of the community-based influenza vaccination campaign are to:
- Raise awareness about the importance of annual seasonal flu vaccines
- Increase flu vaccination in Philadelphia’s adult, uninsured population
- Decrease flu illness and complications
Eligibility for the Community Flu Campaign
The community-based flu vaccine clinics are open to uninsured Philadelphia adults meeting the current recommendations for influenza vaccination as defined by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
This flu season (2014-15), vaccine can only be provided through the community-based flu vaccine campaign who identify as:
- Adults 19 through 64 years of age who are uninsured adults (mandated by the CDC)
Adults 65 and older cannot be administered PDPH flu vaccine through this program. Adults who have health insurance (including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance) should talk to their primary care provider about receiving a dose of flu vaccine. For adults who have health insurance, the Philadelphia Immunization Program encourages patients to seek immunizations from their regular source of medical care.
PDPH Community Flu Campaign FAQs
What is the Community-based Flu Vaccine Campaign?
Each year the program coordinates a citywide community-based seasonal influenza vaccination campaign for adults each year between the months of October and January. The objectives of the campaign are to raise awareness about the importance of annual seasonal influenza vaccinations for adults, and to increase influenza vaccination coverage in Philadelphia’s adult, uninsured population, decreasing the morbidity and mortality associated with influenza and its complications. Clinics are staffed by volunteer medical providers, including area schools of nursing, nursing sororities, licensed registered nurses, independent medical providers, and pharmacist.
What is the purpose of the Flu Campaign?
The purpose of the community-based flu vaccine program is to immunize adults aged 19 through 64 years of age who do not have health insurance and have no alternative source for medical care, or who are unable to access their usual source of care.
Who is eligible to attend a flu clinic?
Community Flu Clinics are for uninsured adult residents of Philadelphia who are between the ages of 19 through 64 years of age. Individuals 65 years and older who have health insurance (including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance) should talk to their primary care provider about receiving a dose of flu vaccine.
What are the program requirements to hold a clinic?
All providers participating in the Community Flu Campaign must open their flu clinic to the community.
Only adults who meet the CDC’s eligibility criteria may receive a dose of flu vaccine through this campaign.
Community sites may NOT turn eligible adults away from a community flu clinic.
Sites hosting a clinic agree that they will not bill for vaccine or the services to vaccinate campaign participants.
How will my flu clinic be advertised?
All approved and confirmed flu clinics will be advertised on the Philadelphia Department of Public Health website. Each clinic will also receive advertisement flyer’s and brochures to promote their upcoming flu clinic in their communities.
What type of sites hold a flu clinic?
Community flu clinics include: churches, shelters, supermarkets, community centers, soup kitchens, and health clinics.
How can my organization participate?
To learn about how your organization can participate in the PDPH community-based influenza vaccine campaign, contact Adam Howsare, Community-based Influenza Vaccine Campaign Coordinator, at Adam.Howsare@phila.gov or (215) 685-6837.
Treatment and Prevention
Get a Flu Vaccine Every Year
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.
Wash your hands frequently
Use warm water and soap and rub hands together for 15-20 seconds. The flu virus can live on surfaces for up to two hours. When soap and water are not available, hand sanitizers containing 60-90% ethyl alcohol or Isopropanol may be used.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue and wash hands immediately following.
Stay home when sick
Stay home when sick to avoid the risk of infecting others with the spread of the flu virus.
Get enough sleep and manage your stress
Lack of sleep and high levels of stress can reduce immune functioning and lower the body’s ability to fight colds and the flu.
Information for Health Care Workers
Annual influenza vaccination of healthcare workers helps to:
- Protect health-care workers, their patients, and their communities
- Decrease death rates among nursing-home patients
- Reduce work absenteeism
- Reduce the incidence of hospital-based influenza outbreaks
- Improve the prevention of influenza-associated disease
- Enhance patient safety
Unvaccinated healthcare workers put patients at risk; health care workers can be a key cause of outbreaks in health care settings. These employees encounter high-risk patients throughout the influenza season in medical practices, general hospitals, specialty hospitals, long-term care and rehabilitation facilities, home-care sites and other health care settings.
During an influenza outbreak in a health-care setting, as many as 70% of the staff and patients can become infected.
What is Influenza?
Influenza, more commonly referred to as “the flu” is a highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. Each year over 200,000 individuals are hospitalized from influenza complications.
What does the 2014-15 flu vaccine protect against?
Flu vaccines are designed to protect against influenza virus strains that experts predict will be the most common during the upcoming season.
The 2014-15 trivalent influenza vaccine is made from the following three virus strains:
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus
- A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus
- B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like (Yamagata lineage) virus
The 2014-15 quadrivalent influenza vaccine also contains on additional virus strain:
- B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (Victoria lineage) virus
What are the Recommendations for the 2014-15 Season?
Influenza Vaccine Dosing Algorithm
ACIP 2014-15 influenza vaccine dosing algorithm for children aged 6 months through 8 years
* Doses should be administered at least 4 weeks apart.
† For simplicity, this algorithm takes into consideration only doses of seasonal influenza vaccine received since July 1, 2010.
Philadelphia Influenza Statistics
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) Division of Disease Control conducts weekly influenza surveillance using chief complaints from Emergency Departments, influenza-like illness visit data, laboratory-based surveillance and institutional surveillance during flu season. The results of this surveillance are posted every Friday in the season on the Health Information Portal.