Dec. 7, 2017
patients at various San Antonio clinics will receive influenza vaccines thanks to a grant from the Texas
Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Be Wise — ImmunizeSM program. TMA recently awarded the
TMA Chapter at UT Health San Antonio’s Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School
of Medicine the funds to provide 150 free flu shots for patients at five student-run
clinics. Vaccines will be given weekly through the end of January.
clinics serve refugees, women in rehab facilities, and families in homeless
shelters,” said Alejandra Morfin, one of the medical students leading the
“We want to
bring flu vaccine to these people so they can stay healthy this flu season, and
reduce the risk of them passing it to others.”
season begins in October, disease outbreaks often peak between December and
February, with some people falling ill as late as May. That’s why physicians
are taking the opportunity this week, National Influenza Vaccination Week, to emphasize the importance of
continuing flu vaccination throughout the flu season. As long as the flu virus
is spreading and causing sickness, physicians tell patients they can get vaccinated
to protect themselves and their loved ones.
The flu is a
viral illness that is much more severe than the common cold and can keep people
sick for seven to 10 days — and may lead to more severe, life-threatening
illnesses such as pneumonia. Some 200,000 people in the United States go the
hospital each year because of the flu, and as many as 48,000 people have died
from flu during one season.
everyone 6 months and older to get a flu shot every year. Even healthy people can get very sick
from the flu and spread it to others. Vaccination is especially important for
those at higher risk for
complications from the flu:
elderly people, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical
A flu vaccine
is the best way to protect against illness, which is why so many TMA
physicians, medical students and TMA Alliance physician volunteers, and spouses host Be Wise — Immunize flu shot clinics.
TMA created the
Be Wise — Immunize Local Impact
Grants program in 2012
to enable members of TMA and the TMA Alliance help ensure their communities are
healthy by offering childhood, adolescent, and adult vaccinations at special
events and clinics. Members often team up with local organizations to reach
residents in need. The TMA Foundation (TMAF), TMA’s philanthropic arm, funds
Be Wise — Immunize and the Local Impact Grants.
“Flu is a highly
contagious, miserable illness that can prove deadly for some. Our grant funding
will ensure San Antonio residents who might not otherwise receive the flu shot
will be protected,” said TMAF President Leslie H. Secrest, MD, of Dallas.
In five years,
TMA has awarded 90 grants totaling nearly $170,000 to provide more than 12,000
vaccinations across the state through the Local Impact Grants program.
TMA actively works to improve
vaccination rates in Texas through its Be Wise — Immunize program. TMA has
given nearly 330,000 shots to Texas children, adolescents, and adults since the
program began in 2004. TMAF funds the Be Wise program in 2017 through generous
support from H-E-B and TMF Health Quality Institute, along with contributions
from physicians and their families.
published an infographic about flu vaccination, in
English and Spanish.
TMA is the largest state
medical society in the nation, representing more than 50,000 physician and
medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county
medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to
improve the health of all Texans.
Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.
Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org
Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512)
650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org
Connect with TMA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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