BLOG: Looking Back at the Health Department’s Successful Flu Vaccine Campaign SHARE Email Facebook Twitter By: Dr. Karen Murphy, Secretary of Health Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf January 28, 2016 Human Services, The Blog Last fall, the Pennsylvania Department of Health launched our “Stopping the Flu Starts with You” campaign, aimed at increasing awareness about flu prevention and providing access to free and reduced costs vaccines. During the campaign, we held 140 clinics at our health centers across the state. Remarkably, almost 1,000 PA residents received flu vaccines at these clinics.In a combined effort among myself, Pennsylvania’s Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, and Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion Dr. Loren Robinson, my department also made numerous public appearances and reached out to Pennsylvanians statewide via our social media in order to further spread valuable information about preventing the flu.We have worked hard to educate people about easy ways to prevent the flu. It is my hope that greater awareness will mean fewer cases of flu in the commonwealth this season.As a culmination of the “Stopping the Flu Starts with You” campaign, we hosted clinics at the eight-day 100th PA Farm Show.Traditionally, visitors flock to the popular Pennsylvania Farm Show each year to enjoy world class milkshakes, pet farm animals and view the famed butter sculpture. But this year, more than 1,000 people also got free flu vaccines.The Department of Health’s daily flu clinics were a resounding success. In addition to protecting their health, and the health of others, by getting a flu vaccine, visitors to the department’s booth had the opportunity to learn a life-saving skill. The hands on, “hands free” CPR demonstration was conducted daily under the guidance of our Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.I want to remind all Pennsylvania residents that it is never too late to get your flu vaccine. Those who missed out on the Farm Show clinics and meet eligibility requirements still have the opportunity to sign up and get free or reduced cost flu vaccines at any of our state health centers while supplies last.Getting the flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and those around you from seasonal influenza. The Health Department recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months. It is especially important for older individuals, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions that place them at increased risk of complications from the flu.In addition to getting vaccinated, to best avoid receiving or spreading the flu, everyone should also:Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.Keep your hands away from your face and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. This is one way germs spread.Disinfect frequently used surfaces – like doorknobs, light switches, TV remotes, etc.Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing – then throw the used tissue in the trash.Avoid contact with sick people. If YOU are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours until after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.More information is available at FLUFREEPA.COM or by calling 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).
BEN CLASSON/Herald photoMichigan State’s 564 yards of total offense against Wisconsin Saturday may have been aided by the absence of Badger cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu in the secondary. After playing early on in the game, Ikegwuonu returned to the bench before ultimately returning to the locker room before the game’s end. “Jack called in sick today,” head coach Bret Bielema said. “In grade school, mom gave you a note that cleared you for the day, but there are no notes on college football Saturday. This morning when he woke up, he just didn’t feel good. He went through warm-ups and was just out of it.””He looked sick; I don’t know the prognosis, but he looked real sick, like he was weak,” safety Allen Langford said.Stepping in once again in place of the injured Ikegwuonu was freshman Aaron Henry, who struggled at times against the Spartan passing attack.”Here and there he’s going to make some freshman mistakes, which is bound to happen,” Langford said about Henry, “but for the most part, he helped us get this victory.”Also seeing extended time at cornerback was Ben Strickland. On Michigan State’s penultimate play it was Strickland who broke up the third down pass forcing MSU to go for it on fourth down.”For those guys to come out and be prepared and play well is all we can ask for,” safety Aubrey Pleasant said.Jefferson unable to return from hitWith the Badgers driving late in the first half, quarterback Tyler Donovan looked over the middle to wide receiver Kyle Jefferson, the recipient of an earlier 64-yard touchdown catch, for a short gain. Almost immediately after catching the pass though, Jefferson took a vicious hit from Spartan safety Nehemiah Warrick that knocked the ball loose and the receiver out of the game.”It was a low crossing route, and there is an option for an official on a helmet to make a call,” Bielema said of the hit. “I expressed my displeasure, but it doesn’t do me any good. The official did say, ‘If I missed it, I apologize.’”Despite staying down for a few moments, Jefferson was able to walk off the field on his own power, but was unable to return to the game.”I think he was real close to being able to get in there, but he couldn’t answer all the right questions in a short amount of time,” Bielema said. Ensuring the safety of players is the top priority for the Badger head coach.”One of the few things I can guarantee a parent when they’re sitting in my office, I always say to them I will always personally look out for the safety of your child.”Randle-El ejected in second quarterAfter a second quarter scramble by Donovan, wide receiver Marcus Randle-El got himself tangled up with Michigan State cornerback Chris Rucker and after punches were thrown both players found themselves ejected from the game. “My coaches told me their guy came after El and got the penalty, and then El went back after him, and I think they both threw punches,” Bielema said.”That was a complete lack of discipline by Marcus there, and you know Marcus is a great competitor, but the old saying in football is ‘It’s always the second man that gets caught’.”The ejection proved especially costly for the Badgers after Kyle Jefferson went down with an injury that left Wisconsin thin at the position.Penalties hold Badgers backWisconsin struggled with penalties on Saturday. The Badgers were flagged four times in the first quarter alone and finished the game with seven penalties that moved them back 49 yards, including a critical hold committed by Garrett Graham that negated a third down conversion on the Badgers final field-goal drive.”They’re there to protect the quarterback, and I’m all for that,” Bielema said of the cause of the penalties. “My hat goes off to the officials to make a couple of those calls. … They changed and impacted the game.””It’s just being smarter,” offensive lineman Kraig Urbik said. “[Penalties] kill how many plays we can do, and it limits our offense; it’s a drive killer for sure.”Penalty at goal line explainedOn the Badgers’ final scoring drive, UW was aided by a third down defensive holding call against MSU after Donovan tried to scramble for the touchdown but was stopped short. Instead of receiving an automatic first down, though, the Badgers were just given a second chance at third down. After PJ Hill was stopped for a loss, Wisconsin was forced to settle for a field goal that kept Michigan State within just three points.”If we had thrown the ball it would’ve been a first down,” Bielema explained. “[The defensive player] held Luke, which took away the pass, which kind of is disturbing to me because the reason we had to run is because he was held and we couldn’t throw the football.”