The California Department of Public Health Department (CDPH) announced today the launch of an advertising campaign to encourage all Californians to get vaccinated against H1N1. Entitled “Hands,” the television ad lays out simple facts about H1N1: the majority of Californians are still susceptible and vaccination is the best way people can protect themselves. The visuals show hands in a variety of situations where germs and flu viruses can spread, and encourages Californians to take the future of H1N1 into their own hands.
While H1N1 has diminished recently, the virus continues to make people sick. We continue to see people hospitalized and some die. Last year it took the lives of more than 450 Californians, including pregnant women and children and others not typically affected by seasonal flu. H1N1 remains unpredictable. For this reason, it is crucial that Californians not assume the threat of H1N1 has passed.
“In our state, millions have been vaccinated,” said CDPH Director Dr. Mark Horton, “but this is not the time to think we’ve done enough. We remain concerned that half of all Californians are still susceptible to the H1N1 virus, which means that complacency could lead to a third wave of H1N1 infections with potentially serious consequences.
“As a result, we are pleased to launch this new TV campaign that encourages vaccination – the single most effective way to protect against H1N1.”
Created with federal funds from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the money spent on producing and airing the “Hands” ad is less than 1 percent of the total federal support for H1N1 response in California. The federal funds were earmarked specifically for communication about the importance of vaccine. The ads are 15- and 30-second formats in English and Spanish and will air statewide beginning February 1. Broadcast quality videos and screen shots can be viewed and downloaded at http://ftp.trailerpark.com – User name: H1N1Flu; Password: Campaign1 (both are case sensitive).
In addition to the new TV campaign, CDPH has been promoting flu prevention through many avenues, including radio traffic spots, television Public Service Announcements, online vaccine locators, text messaging, outdoor ads, printed materials in multiple languages, as well as applications for Web sites, Facebook and Twitter.
In response to recent data that shows the H1N1 virus is hitting people of some ethnic groups harder than others, CDPH is reaching out directly to these communities through targeted electronic and print campaigns.