Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Using Music and Other Media to Communicate Immunization Messages

Everardo Aguilar, San Diego Immunization Partnership, a UCSD contract with the SD County Immunization Branch, 9500 Gilman Drive, #0720, La Jolla, CA, USA, Jan Campana, San Diego County Immunization Program, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, PO Box 85222, Mail Stop P511B, 3851 Rosecrans Street, San Diego, CA, USA, and Kathleen Worthing Gustafson, Immunization Program, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Immunization Program (P511B), P.O. Box 85222, San Diego, CA, USA.

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to describe how music and other media can be used to present immunization messages to a culturally diverse community.

My friend and colleague Jan Campana a Public Health Nurse who recently retired created songs from commonly known tunes to promote immunizations, particularly for use during National Infant Immunization Week. These were used as part of a multi media campaign to promote immunization messages during National Infant Immunization Week/Vaccine Week of the Americas.

Music, singing and movement are effective teaching tools for young children. During her career, Jan created several songs about immunizations that were easy for children to learn and fun to sing. These were used as part of a larger campaign in support of NIIW/VWA activities.

1. Song and movement teach children messages about immunizations and preventing disease.
2. Performing the songs were featured as part of a media event as well as for professional educational events presented as part of NIIW/VWA.
3. Other NIIW events included a training session for community health workers and professional symposiums.

1. The songs help children understand what vaccine preventable diseases like polio and measles do and why it is important to protect them with immunizations.
2. Children are less scared to receive an immunization.
3. Songs are used as an attractive media event creating a reach for a wider audience.

Music is universal and the songs were translated into other languages such as Spanish, Chinese and Japanese among others. The songs are cross-cultural and used along with other activities they are an effective means to communicate positive health messages to a wider audience.