The Archdiocese of Chicago Encourages Chicagoland Catholics to Get the Influenza Vaccine as Flu Season Approaches
CHICAGO, (Sept. 20, 2021) – The Archdiocese of Chicago encourages Chicago-area Catholics and community members to be vaccinated against influenza in addition to vaccination against COVID-19. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, urges everyone to do their part by getting vaccinated to avoid what public health officials call a ‘twindemic’ of the flu and COVID-19. According to public health officials, the vaccines for COVID-19, and the flu do not interfere with one another, nor is one a substitute for the other.
“We are entering flu season as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause illness and death in the United States,” said Cardinal Cupich. “These intersecting illnesses threaten to further burden our health care professionals and facilities. Pope Francis has observed that ‘humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines’ and that ‘vaccination is an act of love.’ This is why we are encouraging our brothers and sisters to receive both of these safe and lifesaving vaccines.”
For the second year, the archdiocese will roll out a flu vaccination campaign to its schools, parishes and archdiocesan offices. Materials will include a message from Cardinal Cupich, and posters and flyers to be distributed via email and social media. The materials emphasize the importance and safety of being vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19 and provide links to public health information. The material for archdiocese employees includes information on vaccines against other illnesses such as pneumonia, whooping cough, measles and shingles. 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 with the flu each year in the U.S. Public health authorities recommend that everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine every season. By getting vaccinated against the flu, taking the important steps of masking up and hand washing, community members can do their part to stop the spread of illness.
Flu vaccine is provided by many local health departments, private health care providers, and pharmacies across Illinois. People are urged to contact their health care providers to find out which flu vaccine is right for them.