October 23, 2020
Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of
Charlie Gischlar, Deputy Director,
Media Relations, 443-463-7234
Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today released
new digital and social media to support #FightFlu Fridays, an extension of its “Fight
the Flu” campaign. The campaign, which initially launched on Oct. 13, encourages
all Marylanders to become “flu fighters” and to get their flu shots as soon as
possible, especially while COVID-19 remains a threat.
"It has never been more
important to get a flu vaccine,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The First
Lady and I have already gotten our flu shots, and I want to again strongly
encourage Marylanders to do the same. To get your flu shot, you can go to your
doctor, your grocery store, your local pharmacy, or you can just reach out to
your local health department.”
of #FightFlu Fridays, MDH will feature new “flu fighters” each week on social
media, urging fellow Marylanders to get their flu shots. The toolkit extension includes
social media graphics, stickers and templates, in addition to videos and
digital ads. Users are encouraged to use the templates to customize their own
“flu fighter” content and post to social media using the hashtag #FightFlu.
“We’re facing an unprecedented challenge dealing with
flu season in the midst of a global pandemic, so we need to do everything we
can to protect our communities,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “We’re seizing
new opportunities for engagement to make sure people are getting the message
about vaccinations and taking action to fight the flu.”
According to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2019-2020 flu season saw strong
vaccination coverage in Maryland, especially for children and older adults. The
coverage is attributed in part to the greater availability of local and
school-based flu vaccination clinics. Roughly 75 percent of Maryland children 6
months–17 years of age and adults age 65 and older had their flu shot, about
11 and 5 percent above the national average, respectively.
However, vaccination coverage for Marylanders 18–64 years
of age was significantly lower at 47 percent and only slightly higher than the
42 percent national average for that age group. Concern remains that because the
COVID-19 pandemic and flu season are happening at the same time—combined with
relatively higher COVID-19 positivity rates among Marylanders under 35 years of
age—that health care resources may be overwhelmed if there is more substantial
illness. A general routine vaccination
decrease among Marylanders 0–18 years of age since the onset of the pandemic is
also concerning, although there has been a steady increase since April.
The “Fight the Flu” digital
toolkit is available for download at health.maryland.gov/flu. The full campaign will run
through the fall and winter, featuring television spots, social media and
digital outreach and educational materials for at-risk groups.
To find free local flu shot clinics, visit marylandvax.org.
To support MDH’s “Fight the Flu” campaign on social media, tag
@mdhealthdept on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FightFlu.
To learn more about flu and flu surveillance in Maryland, visit health.maryland.gov/flu.
The Maryland Department of Health
is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all
Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and
Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/MDHealthDept
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464