FMCNA Urges Those At-Risk to Get Flu Shots & Truths About Vaccine
Warns Kidney Disease Patients of Health Risks from the Seasonal Flu, and Offers
230,000 No-Cost Vaccinations to its Patients and Staff
Mass. – Nov. 3, 2014 – Worldwide news broadcasts
and headlines are filled these days with reports of the deadly Ebola virus. Yet
most Americans are far more likely to be affected by the common seasonal flu, a
contagious respiratory illness carried by airborne viruses and spread by
sneezing and coughing, which each year infects millions of people in this
country and causes more than 200,000 to be hospitalized.
For most people, the flu’s symptoms of
fatigue, fever, chills, aches, congestion and coughing go away within one to
two weeks. But for vulnerable segments of the population such as people with
chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney failure, their condition, and the
demands of their life-sustaining treatment, leave them at greater risk for
influenza and a variety of flu-related complications.
That’s why Fresenius Medical Care North
America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, is
strongly urging anyone with CKD, kidney failure or other chronic health issues
to protect themselves by getting a flu vaccination every year.
“Complications from the flu pose a health
risk to people who have chronic illnesses such as CKD and kidney failure,” says
Dugan W. Maddux, M.D., vice president of chronic kidney disease initiatives at
FMCNA. “The best way to reduce that risk is for everyone – especially kidney
patients and their caregivers – to get vaccinated against the flu.”
4 Simple Truths about the Flu Vaccine
The flu shot CANNOT give you the flu. Some
people may experience mild flu-like symptoms after getting a flu shot. The
vaccine, however, cannot give you the flu.
A flu shot is needed every year for
protection against the flu. Flu viruses do not stay the same. Each year the
vaccine is updated to protect against the most common viruses around. This is
why you need a flu vaccination each year.
The flu shot is safe. Over the past 50
years hundreds of millions of people have safely received the vaccine. If
you’re concerned, check with your doctor before getting the flu shot.
The flu is highly contagious and can lead
to hospitalization. It is spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact.
To help “Slug the Bug,” FMCNA has launched
a company-wide program to offer flu shots to all 180,000 patients who receive
care at FMCNA dialysis facilities, and to the company’s more than 50,000
employees across the country, at no cost to the recipients. In addition, FMCNA
will donate $1 for every patient and employee vaccinated through this program,
to be allocated among charities supporting renal patients, and to the FMCNA
CARES employee emergency relief fund.
To call attention to the importance of flu
vaccinations, FMCNA also is reaching out to kidney disease organizations and
other groups representing vulnerable populations across the country with its
flu-shot awareness campaign to encourage all at-risk individuals to be
FMCNA is committed to ensuring the health
of its staff and patients during flu season by offering vaccinations at no cost
and practicing effective infection control. Patients should inquire at their
local dialysis clinics for locations and times of specific vaccination
opportunities. For more information on flu prevention, visit
Fresenius Medical Care North America
Through its leading network of more than
2,150 dialysis facilities in North America and vascular access centers,
laboratory, pharmacy and affiliated hospitals and nephrology practices, Fresenius
Medical Care provides renal services to hundreds of thousands of people
throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. It is also the continent’s top
producer of dialysis equipment, dialyzers and related disposable products and a
major supplier of renal pharmaceuticals.