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2010-2011 Influenza Season: Communication Overview. Glen Nowak, PhD Acting Director Division of News and Electronic Media Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key Elements of 2009 H1N1 Influenza Overall Effort. Government purchased all the vaccine

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2010 2011 influenza season communication overview

2010-2011 Influenza Season: Communication Overview

Glen Nowak, PhD

Acting Director

Division of News and Electronic Media

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

key elements of 2009 h1n1 influenza overall effort
Key Elements of 2009 H1N1 Influenza Overall Effort

Government purchased all the vaccine

Extensive and continued intra-Federal government collaboration

Strong foundation in:

Surveillance and monitoring

Prioritizing initial doses based

Early and extensive collaboration and coordination with a wide range of partners (e.g., States, communities, manufacturers, etc.

Concerted, targeted vaccination efforts on many fronts

Messages encompassed more than vaccination (e.g., hand washing, staying home when sick, antiviral treatment)

Guided/adjusted by surveys and other assessments

the foundation some core components
The Foundation – Some Core Components
  • Tell people what you know when you know it – and you can: 1) put it into a context and 2) tell them what to do as a result of the information.
  • Audience perspective first and foremost
  • Acknowledge uncertainty – and what it means or could mean (e.g., “our interim recommendations may change quickly”)
  • Foreshadow possibilities / share dilemmas early
  • Know the intent of your messages and communication strategies
  • There’s much desire to build on, extend, successes associated with 2009 H1N1 effort (e.g., pregnant women, children);
    • Schools, ob/gyns will continue to engage in flu vax
  • There’s much desire to address and reduce racial/ethnic disparities
    • Desire to do so will result in more/better efforts
    • More/better efforts will have impact (quickly)
  • Pandemic has fostered greater awareness and appreciation of threat posed by influenza
  • If you recommend for all, demand will grow
potential challenges
Potential Challenges

Maintaining/extending the interest and involvement of groups that engaged during pandemic

Things brought, potentially created by pandemic, including:

Influenza fatigue

Stronger belief in efficacy of non-vaccine preventive measures

“I’m now protected” from pandemic flu

“Why isn’t 2010 H1N1 in this year’s vaccine?”

“Why no single dose H1N1 vaccine?”

Also. . .

Vaccine safety concerns may be heightened (e.g., inclusion of 2009 H1N1 strain in seasonal vaccine, unfolding situation in Australia

Need to remember that influenza and flu vaccine supply are unpredictable

Seasonal influenza vaccination is a predominantly private sector enterprise

Motivation for flu vaccination highly dependent on perceptions of severity of disease and strength of provider endorsement

be prepared for
Be prepared for. . .

Interest in what this year’s H1N1 vaccination means for vaccination in the coming season (e.g., do I need to get another flu vaccination? Why?)

Many believing 2009 H1N1 illness or vaccine have left them adequately protected for season ahead.

Need to educate – especially at start of season

Intensity and duration of news media interest that more closely resembles a usual flu season rather than that associated with a pandemic.

Expectation of frequent/regular updates on disease, illness, vaccine supplies, and coverage.

Influenza Vaccination Communication Plans and Messagesfor the 2010-11 Season(thinking as of June 2, 2010)
campaign theme
Campaign Theme

Developed for CDC by AED and Arnold Communications

Tested well with diverse audiences

A ‘call to action’ for all

Seeks to communicates that in addition to protecting oneself, we each can have a hand in protecting those who may be at high risk of having serious flu-related complications.

broad as well as targeted efforts
Broad as well as targeted efforts. . .

Parents of children age 18 and younger

Older Americans

Adults with chronic health conditions

Young adults

Pregnant women

People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

Health care workers

Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu

Household contacts and caregivers of children <5 years of age with particular emphasis on contacts of children <6 months of age

Minority populations (African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans/Alaskan Natives)

campaign elements include
Campaign Elements include. . .
  • Formative research and message testing
  • Partner outreach and collaboration
  • Earned media (e.g., press briefings, mattes, radio and satellite media tour, ethnic media roundtables)
  • Paid media (e.g., PSA placement, print ads)
  • Web and social media
  • Print materials such as posters, brochures, flyers
  • Education and outreach to healthcare workers
  • Process and impact evaluation
overarching messages i
Overarching Messages (I)
  • Influenza (the flu) is a serious disease, leading to hospitalizations and sometimes even death. Anyone can get sick from the flu.
  • Starting with the 2010-11 flu season, CDC recommends all people age 6 months and older receive annual influenza vaccination.
  • Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious complications from the flu, even death.
  • The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
  • Getting a flu vaccine is easy, and is the single most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu.
overarching messages ii
Overarching Messages (II)
  • The flu vaccine that will be available for the 2010-2011 flu season will provide protection against the 2009 H1N1 virus. There will not be a need to get a separate vaccine for 2009 H1N1 flu.
  • Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people, including children and young adults, can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
  • The flu vaccine provides protection that lasts through the flu season. The flu vaccine is updated to include current viruses every year. A seasonal flu vaccine made against flu viruses going around last year may not protect against newer viruses, and annual vaccination is the only way to maintain protection each year.
research with pregnant women
Research with Pregnant Women

In September 2009, CDC conducted 18 focus groups with pregnant or recently pregnant (within six months postpartum) women in Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; and Portland, Oregon

144 participants, mostly white (65.5%), followed by 28.1 percent black; 60% intended to get seasonal flu vaccine

The safety of the baby is a key factor in pregnant women’s motivation to adopt recommendations.

Pregnant women are taught to be selective about taking medications. Vaccination messages should acknowledge this belief and provide a clear rationale for why vaccine is recommended.

Post-partum women have concerns about taking medications while breastfeeding.

Health care providers are a key trusted source of information.

overarching communication strategy for pregnant women
Overarching Communication Strategy for Pregnant Women

Utilize ObGyns to encourage and/or administer influenza vaccination

Conduct research to better understand barriers and facilitators

Provide information and resources

Partner with ACOG on events and outreach

Acknowledge that pregnant women are, and should be, careful about medications they take.

Explain that influenza causes risk to mom and baby and stress the safety of the vaccine during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

First time mom’s-to-be are high information seekers. Get vaccination messages into publications and websites for pregnant women and new moms (including via content syndication).

outreach to pregnant women
Outreach to Pregnant Women

Outreach to online sites such as BabyCenter.com, iVillage’s pregnancy channel

Pregnant and new moms on Twitter will be identified and recruited to participate in the Flu campaign

“Family vaccination day” during NIVW

Distribution of matte article

Posters and flyers

Paid placement of ads (e.g., on Oxygen, Lifetime, targeted websites)

ACOG, AAFP, WIC, hospital administrators, hospital maternity wards, birthing hospitals and pharmacy associations who all communicate with pregnant women


Key Partnerships

health care workers
Health Care Workers

Physicians generally supportive of influenza vaccination

Nurses and allied health care providers share many of the same attitudes and misperceptions about influenza and flu vaccines as the general public

Beliefs that they have strong immune systems and don’t need to be vaccinated

Concerns and questions regarding the use of live, nasal spray vaccine