DCMS Foundation Leads Flu Vaccination Effort in Jacksonville, Launches #FluVaxJax with Community Partners

Press Releases

Sep 9, 2020

Jacksonville, FL (September 9, 2020) – The Duval County Medical Society Foundation (DCMS Foundation), in partnership with a variety of community organizations, today launched the #FluVaxJax campaign with a goal of increasing the rate of influenza vaccinations on the First Coast.

This unique collaboration between local hospitals and health systems, pharmacies, health insurance companies, safety net programs, the Florida Department of Health in Health in Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns Counties, the Jacksonville Mayor’s office, local media, and many others provides an opportunity for a widespread message regarding the importance of flu vaccines during a critical time when healthcare providers continue to battle COVID-19.

Background

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we must keep an eye out for the upcoming fall and winter months. We could potentially see another surge in COVID-19 and it would coincide with influenza season (October-March). This is typically a time of the year when hospitalizations increase and ICU bed utilization rises. If we add COVID-19 patients to the mix, we may see a point where our hospital systems are not able to add further patients which could then jeopardize the health of our region.

Though it is unlikely that a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready this fall, we have a well-studied and well-proven, efficacious and safe vaccine available for influenza. Vaccinations for the flu work to not only decrease infection rates but also to minimize adverse outcomes from being infected. Minimizing the number of people who have to be hospitalized for the flu in the fall/winter may allow us to have appropriate bed capacity for COVID-19 patients and others requiring hospitalization.

Our Campaign

In an average year, the First Coast has about a 36.9% vaccination rate.* With the #FluVaxJax campaign, organizers hope to increase the flu vaccination rate to at least 48%.

“The flu vaccine has been shown to significantly reduce hospitalizations in both children and adults who may be infected with the virus. We need to be as proactive as possible at reducing hospitalization rates this fall/winter as we anticipate another wave of COVID19. The flu shot is a proven way to accomplish this,” said Sunil Joshi, M.D., allergist/immunologist and Duval County Medical Society Foundation President.

To learn more about #FluVaxJax campaign, download our flu vaccination fact sheets, obtain a list of local interview opportunities, and more, visit our website at fluvaxjax.com.

*Data from the Florida Health Charts