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Patient Safety Authority Launches Statewide Campaign “Knock out the Flu, PA”

Patient Safety Authority Launches Statewide Campaign “Knock out the Flu, PA”

PR Newswire

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 8, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Patient Safety Authority (PSA) has kicked off Knock out the Flu, PA—a comprehensive campaign that urges Pennsylvanians to get a flu shot.

A new white board video explains in simple terms the science behind the flu shot and its benefits, while debunking common myths: No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot, and yes, you need one every year.
A new white board video explains in simple terms the science behind the flu shot and its benefits, while debunking common myths: No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot, and yes, you need one every year.

The advocacy effort includes a whiteboard video that explains in simple terms the science behind the flu shot and its benefits, while debunking common myths: No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot, and yes, you need one every year. A social media campaign featuring influencers and everyday citizens is also underway. All Pennsylvanians are encouraged to join the flu shot challenge by getting vaccinated and posting a photo with the hashtag #KnockOutTheFluPA.

Last year in Pennsylvania, there were 130,000 influenza cases. While some cases are mild, many lead to hospitalization or death. Fighting the flu also weakens your immune system, which increases susceptibility to other illnesses, like COVID-19. That’s why the flu shot is more important now than ever. October and November are ideal months to get it to keep you protected through the whole flu season.

“Our immune systems are already strained by the stress of the pandemic and our healthcare system can’t take another battle, especially one that can be prevented or significantly knocked back,” says Regina Hoffman, PSA executive director. “Getting a flu shot also makes it less likely that you’ll give the virus to someone else. We urge every Pennsylvanian to do their part.”

Flu Shots are Readily Available
Most insurance companies cover the cost of a flu shot, which are available at physicians’ offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, and clinics throughout the Commonwealth. Find locations here.

For those who don’t have insurance, several county and city health departments and health systems are offering or are planning free clinics. Among them:

Allegheny County 
Allentown Health Bureau 
Bethlehem Health Bureau
Central PA – Geisinger Health System 
Lehigh Valley Health Network 
Montgomery County 
Philadelphia 
Wilkes-Barre Health Department

Established under the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act of 2002, the PSA, an independent state agency, collects and analyzes patient safety data to improve safety outcomes and help prevent patient harm. http://patientsafety.pa.gov/

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SOURCE Patient Safety Authority

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Several New York zip codes are reporting infection rates five times higher than statewide rate

New York has reported several Covid-19 clusters that have created “hotspot” zip codes, the governor said, with a positivity rate about five times more than statewide.



a person taking a selfie in a car: Medical technicians work at a drive-thru coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility at the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals company's Westchester campus in Tarrytown, New York, U.S. September 17, 2020. Picture taken September 17, 2020. Brendan McDermid/Reuters


© Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Medical technicians work at a drive-thru coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility at the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals company’s Westchester campus in Tarrytown, New York, U.S. September 17, 2020. Picture taken September 17, 2020. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The new clusters are a “stark reminder” that the state is still not out of the woods when it comes to the pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

“We’ve had clusters in the past stemming from factories, churches, bars and other locations,” Cuomo said . “We’re quite familiar with this, and when there’s a cluster, we are very aggressive on it and we’re oversampling in the clusters.”

Cuomo’s announcement comes as states across the US have begun reporting alarming Covid-19 trends in recent days — and after experts warned of a coming surge in cases.

Wisconsin reported its highest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations on record, with patients nearly doubling in the state since September 18, according to hospital officials. The governor of Illinois is tightening restrictions in one part of the state after an increase in positivity rates. And in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear urged the state needs to stop a recent “escalation” of cases after reporting more than 1,000 new infections for the second day in a row.

At least 27 states have reported more new cases since the previous week and only nine are reporting a decline, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Nationwide, more than 7.2 million people have been infected and more than 206,000 Americans have died.

When a vaccine could be available to US population

On Wednesday, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said if their Covid-19 vaccine is proven safe and effective, it could be available to the general population by late March or early April.

Moderna began their Phase 3 clinical trial for Covid-19 in the US in July. It’s one of four companies that have begun Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trials in the US — the others include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca. The AstraZeneca trial was paused after an unexplained illness in a volunteer, and US health authorities are still considering crucial questions that remain around the injections of the experimental vaccine.

“I think a late Q1, early Q2 approval is a reasonable timeline, based on what we know from our vaccine,” Bancel said at a conference hosted by the Financial Times.

But there are several steps that will have to come before that.

If the safety and efficacy data checks out, Bancel says he expects Moderna will be able to file a Biologics License Application (BLA) with the US Food and Drug Administration by late January or early February. That application asks the FDA to consider fully licensing a drug, while an emergency use authorization (EUA) expedites a drug candidate for use on an emergency basis.

Moderna could file for an EUA as early as November 25 for