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Fighting Flu in Every Community

Alexia Kelley and Dr. Anand Parekh describe a recent flu vaccination clinic hosted at a Hindu temple in the Washington DC area.

On December 18th, more than 180 people came together at the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, MD as part the work by HHS to promote seasonal flu vaccination related to National Influenza Vaccine Week (NIVW).  Among them were members of the temple, health professionals, and also a group of Bhutanese refugees. 

More than 60 flu shots were administered, and Dr. Anand Parekh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, spoke about the importance of annual flu vaccination.  Dr. Siva Subramanian and Anju Bhargava of Hindu American Seva Charities coordinated the event, and the Prince George’s County Health Department administered the vaccine clinic.  Everyone at the event shared in the Bhutanese culture, and presentations and information provided in the new resource Faith & Communities Fight Flu were translated into Nepalese. 

Flu week, pic 1

Dr. Anand Parekh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, spoke about the importance of annual flu vaccination to Bhutanese refugees.

Faith and community leaders play a vital role in communicating the CDC’s new recommendation that everyone over the age of 6 months should receive a flu shot every year.  Beginning with the launch of National Flu Vaccine week in early December, HHS representatives have gathered with congregations and communities to share the importance of an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, and to share flu prevention tips.  A diversity of congregations and organizations opened their doors to us as part of the kick-off weekend to National Influenza Vaccine Week.  

At this time of the year we are especially grateful for the gifts of communities, and for everyone who shares their time and skills with those around them.  We wish you a Healthy New Year!  

Flu week, pic 2

Officials from Prince George’s County Health Department, Dr. Siva Subramanian, Dr. Anand Parekh, and volunteer physicians and nurses participated in the event.

Alexia Kelley is Director, HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Dr. Anand Parekh is HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health.