This year's campaign to have children and adults get their flu shots is getting an extra boost from some of the CDC's first encounters with social media. As part of the kick-off activities during National Influenza Vaccination Week, immunizations for the Y-Flu began in Whyville on November 22nd with 1,644 vaccinations on the first day and over 10,000 by the end of the first week - just as the flu was being ‘released’ on the 30th [click on image to enlarge].
As they announced at the Healthcare Blogging Summit, the National Center for Health Marketing also held a webinar for bloggers about the flu this past Monday. Two flu experts discussed the recommendations for who should get a flu shot and some of the communication lessons learned from audience research and experience in previous 'flu vaccination' campaigns. A brief Q&A was held with the ten or so bloggers who logged on for the session. For some of their perspectives see Mary Wehmeier's post at Hello Mary Lu and Enoch Choi at Tech Medicine.
I understand there's a lot of excitement in some corners of CDC about stepping into this space. As one of the attendees said during the webinar: Bloggers can provide more in-depth information [about the flu and vaccinations] than PSAs. Thank you for including us!
Personally, I like the widget - especially for this time of year (it may be the only White Christmas I see in these parts). If you want one for your page, let me know. And blog about the flu. CDC is encouraging vaccinations as long as the vaccine is available. Most cases of the flu start in January and the flu season can run as late as May.