Dr. Leonard Friedland, Serese Marotta: December 13, 2017

Help Protect Your Family from Flu This Winter

Talk to Your Doctor about Vaccination




Dr. Leonard Friedland, VP, director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines, North America at GSK






Serese Marotta, Chief Operating Officer, Families Fighting Flu

When Serese and Joe Marotta’s 5-year-old son, Joseph, developed a sniffle and cough and became very lethargic on October 9, 2009, they called their pediatrician to discuss what they should do.

The pediatrician suggested they take Joseph to the local urgent care, where they learned things were more serious than first suspected. Joseph was immediately transported to the local children’s hospital, where they determined he had pneumonia. They also did a test for influenza, which initially came back negative.

Seven days into his hospital stay, Joseph finally received a positive diagnosis for influenza, which eventually led to serious complications that resulted in his death on October 18, 2009.

While the flu can impact individuals of any age, it can be particularly serious for infants and young children. Each year, millions of children get sick with the flu and some of those illnesses result in death – especially those aged 2 years and younger.

According to the CDC, approximately 15,000 children under the age of 5 were hospitalized because of flu complications during the 2015-2016 flu season.  While relatively rare, some children die from the flu each year. Since 2004-2005, flu-related deaths in children reported to CDC during regular flu seasons have ranged from 37 to 171 deaths.1

The flu vaccine is the best tool available to protect against this disease. Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all persons over the age of 6 months get vaccinated against the flu annually.

Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May. Make sure your listeners/viewers know the signs and symptoms of the flu and how they can protect themselves and their families.

For more information, please visit: www.flu.gov

More About Dr. Len Friedland, VP, director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines, North America at GSK

Dr. Leonard Friedland is Vice President, Director Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines North America at GSK. He is also a licensed pediatrician in the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Friedland has held many positions in clinical research and development with GSK since 2003, specializing in infectious disease vaccination.

Prior to his work at GSK, Dr. Friedland was Division Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Friedland studied medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and conducted his residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and his fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, also in Philadelphia.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Alternate Industry Representative to the FDA Vaccines and Related Biologics Product Advisory Committee, and the Industry Representative Member on the Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Advisory Committee. He has published over 45 peer reviewed articles as well as book chapters on healthcare and vaccination topics during his career.


More about Serese Marotta, Chief Operating Officer, Families Fighting Flu:  

Serese Marotta is the Chief Operating Officer of Families Fighting Flu. In October 2009, her 5-year-old son, Joseph, died as a result of complications of influenza.

Both Serese and her husband, Joe, are strong advocates for influenza vaccination and every year they get themselves and their daughter vaccinated against the flu.

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