Digital News Report – (Press Release) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced a new H1N1 flu vaccination advertisement that will air during four College Football Bowl Games held over the New Year’s holiday (See Video Below). The ad is aimed at encouraging young people and all Americans to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu.
The spot will run during the Outback Bowl, Gator Bowl, Valero Alamo Bowl, and the GMAC Bowl and can be seen at www.Flu.gov. It will also be available via satellite TODAY, Thursday, December 31, 2009 from 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST.
“Young Americans have been especially hard hit by the 2009 H1N1 flu,” said HHS Secretary Sebelius. “Sports events are important opportunities to encourage fans, athletes, young adults, and all Americans to protect themselves by getting the H1N1 vaccine. We hope that college athletic teams across the country will continue to join us in the fight against the H1N1 flu by getting vaccinated and encouraging others to get vaccinated too.”
Sports teams, colleges and universities have been important partners in the fight against the H1N1 flu. To build on sports teams’ and colleges’ success in raising awareness about the importance of getting the H1N1 flu vaccine, Secretary Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently sent a letter asking college athletic directors and university presidents to air H1N1 flu public service announcements during games and make short announcements over the public address systems in stadiums, field houses and athletic fields about the need to fight the flu through vaccination and basic preventative measures.
While older people are typically hit the hardest by the seasonal flu, the 2009 H1N1 flu has severely impacted younger Americans, including young adults under age 25 who were otherwise healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that among people under age 18, there were over 1,000 deaths, 71,000 hospitalizations, and a total of 16 million cases of H1N1 flu between mid-April and November 14, 2009.
HHS also released an online video on YouTube and www.Flu.gov that features Secretary Sebelius getting the H1N1 vaccine and urging Americans to do the same. With more than 110 million doses of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine now available, all Americans are encouraged to get vaccinated and protect themselves and their loved ones during flu season, which typically lasts from October until May.