UTHSCSA Students Receive Grant to Give Flu Shots to Homeless

Aug. 7, 2014

A yearly flu vaccination is important for adults to protect them from the highly contagious, and often severe, respiratory virus. Students at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine (UT School of Medicine in San Antonio) want to ensure more adults are protected from the flu. They are using a  $1,000 grant from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Be Wise — ImmunizeSM program to provide free  flu vaccinations at Haven for Hope, a local homeless shelter. 

One out of five Texans will get influenza, or the flu, this year. The flu is much more severe than a common cold and can keep people sick for seven to 10 days. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. The flu can be especially harmful to older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions.

“We want to reduce the number of people who get the flu this flu season by providing vaccinations to homeless residents who can’t afford them,” said Daniel Ayala, president of the TMA chapter at UT School of Medicine in San Antonio.

TMA created the Be Wise — Immunize Local Impact Grants program to help Texas communities provide free and low-cost vaccinations to uninsured and underinsured Texans. Since 2012, 26 grants totaling more than $40,000 have been awarded to Texas communities.

Be Wise — Immunize and the Local Impact Grants are funded by the TMA Foundation (TMAF), thanks to generous support from H-E-B and TMF Health Quality Institute, and gifts from physicians and their families.  

“TMA Foundation and its donors are proud to support this effort because immunizations prevent serious diseases and help us live a healthier life,” said G. Sealy Massingill, MD, TMAF president.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. TMA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the association and raises funds to support the public health and science priority initiatives of TMA and the family of medicine.

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Be Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association. 

Contact: Pam Udall
phone: (512) 370-1382
cell: (512) 413-6807

Brent Annear
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320

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