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League to promote seasonal flu vaccination through social media

1-18-11 Feature Story:

The League has launched a social and ethnic media campaign encouraging young Latinos and African Americans to get vaccinated against the flu. This was the demographic group at highest risk of serious complications from last year's H1N1 epidemic. Latinos and African Americans were hospitalized at twice the rate that whites were, and those 25 years old or younger, at 2-4 times the rate for older people. H1N1 is one of the three strains included in the 2010-11 seasonal flu vaccine.

The campaign consists of extremely short messages in English and Spanish disseminated through social media that link to a web page urging young people to get vaccinated. The web page, which is written in low-literacy English and Spanish, addresses the misconception that young people are not at risk for complications from the flu, particularly H1N1. Viewers are encouraged to pass it along to their friends and family via Facebook "Like" and "Tweet" buttons.

This campaign and an m-health marketing initiative (patient communications using text messaging) to be announced shortly are supported with a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Emergency Preparedness Bureau.

Click here to view the campaign's messages in English and Spanish.

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