Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: September 27, 2011
Lt. Governor Matt Denn, Sec. Rita Landgraf of the Department of Health and Social Services and other state leaders received their flu shots today from Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH), at the second annual flu season kick-off event held in Dover. "It didn't hurt at all," said Lt. Governor Matt Denn. "Seriously, people should take the time to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, and their co-workers. It is quick and easy. Visit www.flu.delaware.gov to find a convenient location."
DPH provided 5,381 doses of flu vaccine during the 2010-2011 flu season with state funds. Still more Delawareans get their flu shot through community health providers and pharmacies. DPH's goal is to increase that number for the 2011-2012 season.
"While last flu season was mild in Delaware, more than 230 people were hospitalized and five people did die. We can do better, and that's why we cannot afford to become complacent this year," Secretary Landgraf said. Babies, pregnant women, the elderly and those who are medically compromised are most at risk for flu-related complications, but it's the young, healthy and unvaccinated children and adults who account for most flu transmission," Landgraf added.
Today's event also recognized community partners who held vaccination clinics at their facilities, and who participated in the Influenza Sentinel Providers Surveillance Network. Sentinel providers include family and internal medicine practices, pediatricians, infectious disease physicians, child care centers, hospitals, long term care facilities, correctional institutions and educational facilities. These sentinels provide early indication of the possible presence of flu by reporting the total number of patient visits and the number of patient visits for influenza-like illness by age group.
"Our sentinel providers volunteer their time and effort to provide us with these critical data," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director, who was also vaccinated today. "Their assistance is crucial to understanding how the flu season is evolving.",
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.