CHICAGO - Today, the Chicago Department of Public Health launched its new flu prevention ad campaign that features legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Sylvia Fowles and Chicago Fire defender Gonzalo Segares.
From now until December, the sports stars are featured on billboards and transit ads across the city to encourage residents to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is the single best way to protect against the flu and the ad campaign is part of the city's ongoing efforts to raise awareness about flu protection.
"Sports legends and rising stars at the top of their game know that the best way to stay in the game is to get your flu vaccine," said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D. "We're excited to have so many sports celebrities help us remind all Chicagoans to stay healthy this flu season."
"I've always said the best defense is a good offense and it's the same with your health," said Coach Mike Ditka. "Get your flu shot early and prevent yourself from sitting on the sidelines!"
Segares made an appearance at the campaign's launch event on Monday and got his annual flu shot from CDPH Immunization Medical Director Julie Morita, M.D.
"As the last line of defense on the soccer field, I know the importance of staying healthy and being in shape," said Segares. "One of my best defensive strategies to ensure I'm out on the field all season long is getting my annual flu shot."
Delle Donne and Fowles from the Chicago Sky also took special interest in helping CDPH raise awareness. En route to winning numerous all-league accolades, Delle Donne and Fowles lent their smiles to the campaign to let Chicagoans know that their best shot to be protected from the flu is a flu shot.
"I am very happy to be a part of this year's flu shot campaign," said Delle Donne. "I am excited to have the opportunity to spread the word about the importance of taking steps to promote individual health as well as the health of others."
"Everyone should get their flu shot!" said Fowles. "I am really excited about being part of this campaign. It's important to your health and the health of everyone around you to prevent the spread of the flu. I'm happy to be helping CDPH share this message."
CDPH recommends that residents first contact their primary health care provider to get a flu shot. For those without health care providers or whose health care providers do not administer flu shots, residents can visit a retail pharmacy.
Flu shots are also especially important for health care workers and anyone who lives with or cares for anyone at increased risk for flu complications including infants, pregnant women, senior citizens and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.
Last month, CDPH announced over 60 special flu vaccination clinics the department is hosting in communities across Chicago through December 14. CDPH also launched an updated version of its online Flu Clinic Finder that pinpoints CDPH clinics by zip code.
For more information on flu resources, residents can call 3-1-1 or visit www.CityOfChicago.org/FLU.