WQAD HD News 8 is proud to partner with Genesis to raise money for their Flu Free Quad Cities initiative. Tune in Monday, September 10th from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. on WQAD HD News 8 to learn more and see how you can help keep our community healthy and safe.
For the fifth year, Genesis Health System will provide free seasonal flu vaccinations to elementary school children in Scott, Rock Island and Clinton Counties. Through the Flu-Free Q.C. (FFQC) program more than 9,700 elementary school students were immunized in approximately 75 schools. This year, we anticipate providing 10,000 immunizations to students in 80 area elementary schools.
For every child vaccinated, five other people will be protected from the flu. That’s an important safeguard for those most at-risk of developing a serious flu illness — children under 6 months old who are too young to be vaccinated, grandparents, pregnant moms, and people with chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma and heart disease.
The Genesis Flu Free Quad Cities Program is a collaborative effort of Genesis Visiting Nurse Association, the Scott County Health Department, participating school nurses, and financial support from the Genesis Health Services Foundation.
Seasonal influenza is a contagious, airborne infection that kills more than 36,000 people each year in the United States and leads to approximately 200,000 hospitalizations. There are significant clinical and economic benefits associated with a vaccination program. (Source: Value in Health)
Most researchers and public health experts agree that vaccinating children is an essential component for the community containment of seasonal influenza. The benefits of immunizing children by conducting influenza vaccination clinics in schools theoretically are strong. Benefits related to vaccination in schools reported in some published studies are:
- A reduction in the number of cases of influenza among the students that receive the vaccine, their classmates, and other members of their families;
- A reduction in the number of physician visits and prescriptions for medications among vaccinated students;
- A reduction in the absenteeism observed in school.
Some of these benefits are related specifically to the fact that children are immunized in schools.
The primary measurements of success of the initiative will be based on the number of students immunized and the students’ influenza-related absenteeism during the school year.
Employers bear the brunt of indirect flu costs. For each episode of illness, a person has symptoms for five to six days and misses between a half day and five days of work. This is not just a disruption in the sick person’s life; it is an obstacle to how well companies function given employee absence and/or diminished employee productivity. (Source: National Business Group on Health)
The cost to vaccinate one child — and protect five other individuals — is $15. This includes the cost of the vaccine and labor expense. The 2012 goal is to raise $150,000 to ensure a vaccination for every child whose parent or guardian has offered consent. To meet this goal we are asking area organizations, businesses and individuals to partner with us.
Together, we can prevent the flu from filling our emergency rooms, emptying our classrooms, and damaging our economy through workforce absenteeism.