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JEN’S NEW ROLE

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by Judy Antell

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   Jennifer Garner has starred on screens big and small, and is set to make her Broadway debut (a strike set that back a little). But her most important starring role may be that of national spokesperson for The Faces of Influenza campaign.

   Garner, mother of a daughter, Violet, who just turned 2, is urging moms, in particular, to talk to their doctors about getting vaccinated against influenza. An important piece of the campaign, Garner notes, is that “NOW is the time”.  Although flu season typically starts in October, it lasts until March, so getting vaccinated even in January or February can still prevent many cases of this often-deadly disease. According to American Lung Association president and CEO, Bernadette Toomey, February is actually the peak month for flu cases.

   “I am a big believer in doing what you can for your family,” says Garner, and she has made sure that her husband, Ben Affleck, her parents, and anyone who comes in contact with young Violet is vaccinated.  “As a mom, my natural instinct is to take care of family,” she says.  “I want to make sure all moms understand that they need to make the flu shot a priority.”

   She also urges parents to do their own research and ask their doctor if the vaccination is right for them.  At www.facesofinfluenza.org, you can get information about the vaccine, including vaccine recommendations and a ‘faces of influenza’ quiz.  A Flu Clinic Locator helps you find a clinic where you can get the shot.

   Garner is living in Manhattan during the run of her show, Cyrano de Bergerac. She notes the proliferation of babies in Manhattan. “It’s stroller central; there are so many more strollers than when I lived here 12 years ago.” Parents with their babies in those strollers should heed Garner’s advice and get a flu shot.


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