Background: Because of the current novel influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted Webinars with leaders from Media, Faith, and Education organizations serving African American and Latino populations to identify ways to communicate information to audiences about H1N1 and pandemic influenza preparedness and response. These sectors were selected because research indicates these are trusted sources of information and an important strategy in disseminating information to these audiences. Objectives: Methods: Results: Conclusions:
Objectives:Webinar objectives included: (1) gathering information about sources and channels used to access information about H1N1, pandemic influenza and vaccines; and (2) assessing needs of organizations in communicating with vulnerable populations about pandemic influenza.
Methods:We conducted six, 90-minute Webinars with leaders from Media, Faith, and Education organizations to gather information on the sources and channels used by organizations and vulnerable audiences to access information about H1N1 and pandemic influenza. Thematic analysis was used to identify major themes and patterns across Webinars.
Results:African American and Latino audiences are concerned about H1N1, particularly the ingredients, availability and distribution of the vaccine. Latino audiences also are concerned about disseminating the vaccine to undocumented individuals. Webinar participants reported using similar sources to obtain information about pandemic influenza, especially the CDC and state/local health departments. Participants use various channels to disseminate information about H1N1 and the vaccine and differences varied across sectors. Channels included radio, television, social media (e.g., YouTube), and trusted community members. Participants stressed that CDC should develop partnerships with organizations serving vulnerable audiences prior to a pandemic in order to promote community mitigation activities.
Conclusions:It is important to tailor information about pandemic influenza to vulnerable populations and utilize trusted sources and channels. In addition, building partnerships with Media, Faith and Education organizations helps ensure that vulnerable populations receive preparedness information before a health emergency occurs.