Cardinal Blase J. Cupich Urges Chicago-Area Catholics to Fight the Flu During the COVID-19 Pandemic
CHICAGO - (Sept. 17, 2020) – The Archdiocese of Chicago today launched a multi-media campaign encouraging its parish and school community members to be vaccinated against influenza. In the campaign’s communication materials, Cardinal Cupich points out that, in the coming weeks our community will witness a convergence of both viruses, influenza and COVID-19.
“We have faced unprecedented challenges this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago in his statement today. (CLICK HERE to see a VIDEO statement). “Loved ones have sickened, and in some cases died. We have had to adjust to drastic changes in the way we live our lives. As Catholics committed to defending life, we are called to take responsibility for the welfare and safety of our community. This year, that means wearing a mask and taking other precautions to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.”
The flu vaccination campaign includes a video message from Cardinal Cupich, posters for churches and schools, and flyers for parishioners and school families to be distributed via email and social media. The materials focus on the importance of being vaccinated, provide links to public health information and a vaccine finder for locating flu shot sources in each zip code. CLICK HERE to see campaign materials.
Over the past decade, influenza and pneumonia have been linked to an average of 3,500 deaths a year in Illinois. Between 10 and 20 percent of Americans are infected during most flu seasons, which typically run from October through May. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized by the flu each year in the U.S. Public health authorities recommend that everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Preventing influenza is even more critical this season as it shares many symptoms with COVID-19. A difficult flu season might overwhelm health care providers already dealing with the pandemic.
Flu vaccine is provided at many local health departments, private health care providers, and pharmacies across Illinois. Contact your health care provider to find out which flu vaccine is right for you. Find vaccine locations at vaccinefinder.org.