It's National Influenza Vaccination Week, so Join Blue and Prevent the Flu!

Football season is flu season! That’s why the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indianapolis Colts have teamed up to promote influenza vaccination and prevention through a new campaign called "Join Blue, Prevent the Flu!"

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Indiana ranks 13th worst in the nation for influenza vaccinations, with only 40 percent of Hoosiers being vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu vaccination rates vary by age group. Among 18-64 year olds, the vaccination rate drops to 32.3 percent and 13-17 year olds have the lowest rate at 27.9 percent. The flu vaccine is safe, effective and offers the best protection from becoming infected with the flu virus.

"Many people don't realize how serious flu can be," said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. "We had 72 deaths last flu season in Indiana. Protecting yourself and your children by getting vaccinated is your best defense against the flu."

To help stop the spread of the flu, State health officials also encourage using the "three Cs":

  • Clean – Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
  • Cover – Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.
  • Contain – Stay home from school/work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.

In an effort to promote handwashing this flu season, Colts fans are encouraged to tweet photos of themselves washing their hands to #COLTSCLEAN.  Winning pictures will be selected at random and will be featured in the Colts last home game program! The photo does not need to be taken at a Colts game.

Check out the Join Blue, Prevent the Flu video that's playing at Lucas Oil Stadium!PLAY VIDEO

To learn more about the Join Blue, Prevent the Flu campaign, visit this page

For more information about influenza in Indiana, visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.IN.gov. Follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook.

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