Published on January 20, 2012

Genesis Protects Nearly 35,000 With Flu Vaccinations

Genesis Health System has vaccinated 34,705 children and adults against seasonal influenza since September and indirectly protected thousands more.

While it is still early in the influenza season, there have been few reports of flu cases thus far in the area.

"Every vaccination has an impact, whether it can be measured in the number of flu cases or not,'' said Dr. Bharat Motwani, M.D., infectious disease specialist, Genesis Medical Center, Davenport. "It seems to be a mild season nationally so we probably can't say we are having a mild flu season locally because of Genesis' efforts but we know our efforts have an impact."

Genesis Health System has several initiatives to prevent seasonal influenza in the region.

• The Flu-Free Quad Cities program provided free vaccinations to 9,439 elementary school children at more than 80 school sites this fall.

• Public flu clinics, which concentrate on reaching higher risk seniors, provided 2,087 vaccinations.

• A system-wide program within Genesis Health System vaccinated 5,876 employees and volunteers.

• Genesis Occupational Health provided 5,401 vaccinations to Quad Cities employers and their employees.

• Since Oct. 1, 1,257 patients at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport have been vaccinated. If patients report they have not received a seasonal flu vaccination, they are asked if they want one during their inpatient stay or at discharge.

• Genesis Health Group offices have vaccinated 10,645 patients.

Dr. Motwani explained that each individual who receives a seasonal flu vaccination protects others they come into contact with, even if the contacted person has not had a vaccination.

"Seasonal flu at the least is miserable and at its worst can be dangerous for the highest risk groups. Flu vaccinations, along with good hand hygiene and covering your mouth when you cough, can protect us against the flu. Genesis is continuing to look for new ways to reach as many people as we can with vaccinations,'' Dr. Motwani said.

Seniors, the very young and individuals with chronic conditions are at highest risk for complications from seasonal influenza. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu in a year and 200,000 people require hospitalization because of the flu and complications.

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