Flu + You- A Multi-stakeholder Campaign to Improve Influenza Immunizations in Aging Adults

A.J. Terrillion, Walden University

Abstract

Influenza (“the flu”) and pneumonia are the seventh leading cause of death in older adults in the U.S.

Flu + You, a national program was created to educate adults 65 years of age and older and those who care for them, about the dangers of influenza, the importance of annual vaccination, and available vaccine options. Flu + You has had great success in educating adults age 65 and older about the dangers of flu, providing information on coverage available for vaccinations, and encouraging vaccination. The 2014-2015 flu season will mark the third year of the program. This year there is a specific focus on providing information about how the flu can make existing health conditions worse.

  • The flu is especially dangerous for people with chronic conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and heart disease, which commonly affect older adults.
  • Eighty-six percent of adults aged 65 and older have at least one chronic condition (such as diabetes) and 68 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have two or more.
  • People with these conditions are more likely to develop complications from the flu that can result in hospitalization and even death.v
  • In past flu seasons, as many as 80 percent of adults hospitalized from flu complications had a long-term health condition.

The Flu + You campaign is successful public health collaboration between a non-profit, private corporation, state and federal agencies. The goal of the workshop is to discuss this successful collaboration and approaches to provide this important information and resources to older adults and their caregivers. In addition, the discussion will also include how to build and develop partnerships with local agencies and companies to ensure that staff, volunteers and clients have access to the flu vaccine.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs Advocacy for health and health education Clinical medicine applied in public health Diversity and culture Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs Public health or related education

Learning Objectives: Discuss a multi-tiered influenza vaccination promotion campaign, including objectives and steps taken to meet those objectives Demonstrate the levels of effort needed to create and effective influenza vaccination promotion campaign, including work with media training, federal agencies on language, and online platform experts