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October 15, 2003 – Flu Vaccinations 

October 15, 2003

Now is time for flu vaccinations

Fever. Sore throat. Chills. Cough. Headaches. Muscle aches.

Flu season is just around the corner, and employees across PPG are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, according to Dr. Alberto Colombi, corporate medical director. Since flu season typically begins in November and extends through March, now is the time to be immunized, he said. Protection develops about two weeks after being immunized and can last up to one year.

“Influenza is a serious disease affecting the respiratory system. It’s capable of inflicting complications in susceptible individuals,” Colombi said. “It can make you sick for a week or longer, and can lead to pneumonia. Flu can translate into sick days away from work and school. It can affect whole families’ quality of life as we approach the holiday season. Almost everyone can benefit from flu vaccine, but some people have an even greater need.”

Colombi suggests flu vaccines for most employees, retirees and family members, especially those who are:

  • 50 years or older. “Even if you’re an active person in excellent health, you have a higher risk of complications if you get the flu,” said Colombi, adding that each year more than 36,000 people in the United States alone die because of the flu. Most are 65 or older.
  • suffering from chronic or long-term health problems. “Anyone with serious, long-term health problems such as heart disease, anemia, diabetes, kidney disease or asthma must avoid complications that can result from the flu,” Colombi said. “People who are less able to fight infections due to a compromised immune system should also consider flu immunization.”

Pregnant women should check with their doctors to determine whether they would benefit from flu immunization, he said.

Persons who should not get flu shots include those who are allergic to eggs, have had allergic reactions or other serious problems after having a flu shot in the past, have suffered from Guillain Barré Syndrome, or have an acute illness at the time of the shot.

Office and manufacturing locations throughout PPG are either sponsoring no-cost or low-cost immunizations, or can direct employees and retirees to local health-care agencies offering immunizations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, development of this year’s flu vaccine is on schedule and should be available now. Visit the CDC’s Web site for more information about flu vaccine, fact sheets, flyers, consent forms, brochures, and posters that could be useful to employees or sites sponsoring an employee-based vaccination program: www.cdc.gov/nip/flu/gallery.htm