The Ad Council partnered with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association for the 'No Time for Flu' campaign
The Ad Council, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) are revealing new assets for the joint 'No Time for Flu' campaign. It is a national effort to create more awareness and urgency around getting the flu shot this season, which is especially critical as hospitals and health care workers continue to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
In any given season, as many as 45 million Americans get sick with influenza and as many as 810,000 are hospitalised. The campaign will inspire more people to get a flu vaccine to protect themselves, their families and their communities—which will also help conserve medical resources as hospitals and doctors continue to care for Covid-19 patients.
The PSAs, created pro bono by multicultural advertising agency fluent360, are inspired by the insight that we’re all juggling more responsibilities than ever - and getting sick with the flu can significantly disrupt our lives, our ability to care for our families, and our ability to do our jobs.
AMA president, Susan R. Bailey, MD, said: "The flu vaccine is a safe, effective step that physicians and public health experts recommend to protect patients and their loved ones from getting sick with influenza. The potential impact of a bad flu season during the Covid-19 pandemic could place added burden on medical resources, which is why we are teaming up to urge all people to get a flu vaccine this fall and thereby help prevent seasonal influenza infections."
The unique and disproportionate impact of both Covid-19 and the flu on these communities was top of mind for fluent360 throughout the creative development process.
CDC director Robert R. Redfield, MD, commented: "As Americans spend more time indoors in the fall and winter, the risk of flu and Covid-19 will rise. We can help take flu out of that equation by getting people vaccinated. We are focusing our efforts especially on communities of colour, which bear a disproportionate burden in terms of serious flu illness, and which continue to experience disparities in flu vaccination coverage. I urge the American public to embrace flu vaccination to help protect themselves, their families and their communities. Simply put, flu vaccine can save lives."
The 'No Time for Flu' campaign will run nationwide throughout the 2020-2021 flu season, with a particular emphasis on engaging with Black and Latinx/Hispanic communities. Longstanding inequities that put undue burden and barriers on these communities have resulted in flu vaccine coverage disparities and disproportionate impacts of flu.
According to CDC data, in the 2019-20 flu season, Latinx/Hispanic adults had the lowest flu vaccination coverage (38.3%), with non-Hispanic Black adults next lowest (41.2%). Non-Hispanic white adults had the highest flu vaccination coverage (52.8%). A new CDC analysis of 10 flu seasons from 2009-2019, when adjusted for age, showed that Black persons had the highest flu hospitalisation rates (68 per 100,000) compared to Latinx/Hispanic persons (44 per 100,000) and white persons (38 per 100,000). Additionally, a July 2020 survey by the Ad Council revealed that 40% of Black respondents and 39% of Latinx/Hispanic respondents were undecided about getting a flu vaccine this season, compared to only 24% of non-Hispanic white respondents.
Ad Council president and CEO, Lisa Sherman, said: "Although there are many factors that can contribute to hesitation about getting a flu vaccine, our research revealed that a key barrier is that many people don't see a need for it. Our campaign will challenge that mindset by showing how getting a flu shot is one simple way we can protect ourselves and our families - a goal that has taken on new urgency amid the pandemic."
The campaign will appear in print, TV, radio, social media, out-of-home and digital formats in donated time and space, and in #NoTimeForFlu social activations, with an emphasis on reaching Black and Latinx/Hispanic communities.
Executive creative director, fluent360, Jose Suaste, concluded: "I'm extremely pleased that we not only created something that benefits the multicultural community, but that we were also able to approach this subject with a fresh perspective and hone in on what people truly value: time and their loved ones."
The campaign ads direct audiences to the Get My Flu Shot website for more information, including where to get a flu vaccine in their area.