22491 Use of New Media and Risk Commmunication to Address Influenza Vaccine Hesitancy

Tuesday, April 20, 2010: 4:25 PM
Regency Ballroom VI
Janine Cory, MPH , Health Communication Specialist, CDC

Background: During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, formative research was done through focus groups and surveys to determine vaccine acceptability.  Reasons for not getting vaccinated, even among high-risk populations, appeared similar to seasonal flu vaccines. Parents expressed concerns about the number of vaccines  their children received, pregnant women had low awareness of the need for influenza vaccines during any trimester, and parents of children in upper grades had a lack of awareness of the expanded recommendations for older children. In addition, a low perception of risk of the severity of H1N1 infection was pervasive across age (including young adults and college students) and risk groups.

Setting: In order to raise awareness among people recommended for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, particularly those at higher risk for serious complications from influenza infection, multimedia motion graphics pieces were created utilizing risk communication techniques. By directly addressing the ‘excuses’ for not getting vaccinated using a variety of voices and methods, we were able to both acknowledge concerns and then increase the perception of risk by revealing specific and real consequences.

Population: The target population for the online “chat” was young adults aged 19-24, who use internet “chat” for everyday communication. The target population for the “Flu House” was for the more general public, but emphasized several high-risk audiences.  

Project Description: Both short pieces were designed to work as ‘viral’ pieces online (shared through email, place on YouTube, etc.) with social media sites and/or placement on websites. In addition, both pieces are broadcast ready and can be used as public service announcements.

Results/Lessons Learned: Using in-house talent for relatively low cost, two motion graphics pieces have been developed to help promote awareness of the need for 2009 H1N1 vaccination. As the pieces have just been completed, it is too early to receive viewing metrics or collect data on partners who may also utilize the pieces.