Health experts have warned that the current flu season could be severe, and that its arrival during the global COVID-19 pandemic could lead to increased sickness and death for those who contract both illnesses at the same time. To be as effective as possible, 70% of Americans need to get flu shots, which have a long track record of safety and effectiveness.
To encourage greater vaccination, the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross is partnering with the Indiana Immunization Coalition and other community partners to promote flu vaccinations in Gary.
Free flu shots will be available upon request by the Indiana Immunization Coalition at Miracle Temple Church, 4709 E. 13th Ave., Gary, IN 46403, on October 22, 2020, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Only about 45% of Americans traditionally get the flu shot, and fewer than 40% of Black adults in the Midwest indicated a likelihood that they would get a seasonal flu shot. Only about 33% of Latino adults in the United States got flu shots in 2015. These numbers are especially concerning because Black and Latino communities are already shouldering an unfair burden of COVID-19 illness.
“In addition to getting flu shots, Hoosiers need to continue to wear face coverings when in public, to physically distance from others and to wash your hands often,” said Kristin Marlow-Kellemen, executive director of the American Red Cross, Northwest Indiana Chapter. “Perhaps as important, we need everyone to encourage their friends and family to also take the precautions available to us.”
Community partners are Aetna Manor Revitalization Program, Community Healthnet Health Centers, Edgewater Health, City of Gary Faith Leaders and Community Partnerships, Inc., Gary Renaissance Organization, Lake Area United Way, United for Families Network and Urban League of Northwest Indiana.
About the Indiana Immunization Coalition: The Indiana Immunization Coalition exists to reduce the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases through immunization education, advocacy, promotion and statewide collaborative partnerships.
About the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross: The Indiana Region serves 104 counties across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois through its six chapter areas: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Greater Indianapolis (Regional Headquarters).
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.