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Vote & Vax brings flu shots to the polls
November 6th, 2012
NEWTON, Mass. – National public health initiative Vote & Vax is bringing flu shots to more than 1,200 polling stations and pharmacies on Election Day.
The program, run by the preventive health care organization Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC), aims to make it easier for consumers to protect themselves and their communities by getting a flu vaccination.
This year, Vote & Vax has almost quadrupled its efforts with more than 1,200 sites in 48 states and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam, and the group expects to reach an even wider population at the outset of cold and flu season.
"We believe that by offering flu shots at the polls and making it easier for residents to get vaccinated, we are providing an important public service to keep communities and our most vulnerable people healthy," Dr. Douglas Shenson, national program director for Vote & Vax, said in a statement
Vote & Vax national collaborators include health organizations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Healthy Aging Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the Association of Immunization Managers and retail pharmacy operators such as Walgreens, Rite Aid and Kmart as well as the RxAlly pharmacy alliance.
According to Vote & Vax, on Presidential Election Days, over 126 million Americans pass through the 186,000 polling places nationwide. In 2008, Vote & Vax and its partners provided more than 21,000 flu shots at 331 polling places in 42 states and Washington.
Of those vaccinated, about 48% were "new" recipients, meaning they had not received a flu shot in the previous year or would not have otherwise been vaccinated, Vote & Vax noted. The organization works with health care professionals from local and state health departments, pharmacies, visiting nurse agencies and other immunizers.