22811 Delivering Clear, Consistent, and Timely Vaccine Safety Messages

Monday, April 19, 2010: 11:05 AM
Regency Ballroom VII
Tanya Johnson, MPH , Health Communications Specialist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Stephanie Marshall , Director of Communications, Department of Health and Human Services
Lorrie McNeill , Director, Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Food and Drug Administration
Pamela Bryant, MS , Health Communication Specialist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Background: Concerns about vaccine safety continue to present numerous communication challenges. Delivering clear, consistent, and timely messages on the safety of vaccines licensed for use in the U.S. is a priority for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Setting:  Clinicians, public health partners, health educators and health communicators have an ongoing need for clear, consistent, and timely vaccine safety messages developed and implemented through the use of science-based communications strategies, risk communication principles, and formative research.

Population: Target audiences for vaccine safety messages include clinicians, public health partners, health educators, health communicators, parents, the general public, and the media.

Project Description: Key messages on the following topics will be presented: ·The Federal government’s guiding principles for vaccine safety communications ·Formative vaccine safety research message mapping led by HHS ·Vaccine licensure process in the U.S., including examples such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and influenza vaccines ·Information on vaccine ingredients that continue be a concern for consumers, including aluminum, formaldehyde, and thimerosal ·Selected myths and facts on vaccine ingredients ·Challenges in messaging the safety of vaccines in the midst of concern and confusion by providers and the general public ·Systems for post-licensure surveillance of vaccines licensed for use in the U.S. ·Preparing for and responding to reports of adverse events in the media ·Challenges in translating the results of vaccine safety surveillance and research to clinicians and the general public

Results/Lessons Learned: Currently, the concern about safety of vaccines is a primary reason that some parents and individuals are choosing not to vaccinate against serious, and sometimes deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases. It is an ongoing priority for HHS, FDA, and CDC to address these vaccine safety concerns, and to provide healthcare providers and health communicators with tools and messages they can use to effectively address these concerns with their patients and members of their communities.

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