‘Sleeve Up Indy’ campaign aims to prevent surge of flu cases as pandemic continues

4 Your Health

INDIANAPOLIS– The City of Indianapolis joined the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) in kicking off a campaign Monday to remind Hoosiers to get a flu shot.

The program, called “Sleeve Up Indy,” is aimed at increasing the increasing flu vaccination rate as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett got his flu shot during the event.

“It takes a united front of many entities to promote public health in our community,” said Mayor Hogsett. “We’re proud to join our partners in the effort to carry out an equitable response to the pandemic, especially as the Latinx community has faced disproportionate levels of infection. We ask that all residents get their flu shot now to free up vital health infrastructure to focus on COVID-19.”

“Sleeve Up Indy” is part of a 3-step “Mask Up, Lather Up, Sleeve Up” campaign by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as health officials try and minimize the impact of having the pandemic and the flu during the same season.

“A person’s respiratory or immune system could become overwhelmed if they are infected with flu and COVID-19 at the same time, especially someone in a high-risk group or over age 65,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the MCPHD. “Also, healthcare resources can be stretched significantly during a typical flu season. Protecting against the flu in our community will allow these resources to be readily available to handle any potential surge in COVID-19 cases.”

Health officials say the pandemic has disproportionately impacted the Black and Latino communities in Marion County, where residents are also less likely to receive a flu vaccine.

“Because of COVID-19, this message is so greatly needed in the immigrant and Latino community,” said Daniel Aguado, deputy consul for the Consulate of Mexico in Indianapolis. “Providing access to resources, such as flu shots and valuable information on these viruses in other languages besides English, can have a positive impact on the health of Latinos and immigrants that are part of the community.”

That’s why the Consulate of Mexico in Indianapolis partnered with Eskenazi Health to offer the Window of Health (Ventanilla de Salud) program, which offers various services including flu shot clinics.

“We are delighted to join with these partners and unite in a common message about the critical need for flu shots,” said Gabriela Constant, coordinator of the program. “As part of this announcement, a flu shot clinic was offered by the Marion County Public Health Department at the Consulate of Mexico to help protect the health of residents it serves. We look forward to sharing ways for everyone to help reduce the spread of flu and COVID-19.”

Weekly flu shot clinics will be held during October at MCPHD’s three main district health office locations by appointment only.

Click here to learn more. Flu shots are $20 for adults and for children age 2-18. Kids under the age of 2 are free.

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