- Flu Prevention
How Immunization Advocates Can Take Action to Fight Flu
In a prior blog post, we talked about why immunization advocates need to raise their voices and the importance of speaking up about flu education, prevention, and treatment. Now, we outline five simple, actionable steps you can take to promote flu awareness and annual flu vaccination.
1. Lead by example by getting vaccinated against flu each and every year
First and foremost, advocates for flu vaccination should lead by example by receiving their annual flu vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals get vaccinated every fall, preferably by the end of October and before flu starts circulating in your community. To show others how easy it is to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu, snap a #flushotselfie and share it on your social media!
2. Share pro-immunization posts on social media
In addition to sharing your #flushotselfie on social media, Families Fighting Flu offers a suite of free, downloadable images containing key flu-related messages about the importance of flu vaccination that you can share on your network. The CDC also offers a toolkit of infographics and pictures that encourage people to fight flu through annual vaccination.
3. Share stories about how flu is a serious disease
Stories are 22 times more memorable than statistics. To convey that the flu is not “just the flu,” it’s a serious disease, share family stories from the Families Fighting Flu website. Here you can find 50+ stories of infants, children, teens, and adults who have died or suffered from flu. Use these stories to start a conversation with friends and family who are hesitant about flu vaccination. Our stories help illustrate that flu can be serious and result in hospitalization and even death, but we can help protect ourselves and our families from these devastating outcomes by getting vaccinated.
4. Have conversations about the importance of community immunity
Community immunity (also known as herd immunity) refers to when a significant portion of a community is vaccinated so that the spread of infectious diseases from person to person is greatly reduced. In your conversations with people who may be hesitant about flu vaccination, it can help to highlight how vaccination is beneficial not only to the recipient but also to others around them. Research shows that when people learn about community immunity, people are more motivated to get vaccinated. So explain to people that flu vaccination is a team sport!
5. Join our Flu Champions program!
Families Fighting Flu offers flu advocates four curated toolkits that include hardcopies of our most popular educational and promotional materials. Our Flu Champions use these materials to promote flu awareness and annual flu vaccination in their communities at health fairs, schools and universities, health departments, workplaces, and community events. If you are interested in getting involved in community-level flu education and advocacy, consider ordering one of these toolkits. And reach out to us if you’re looking for additional support!