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In new effort to reset flu shot expectations, CDC to keep away from messages that “could be seen as a scare tactic”

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention says it has launched a brand new public relations marketing campaign this yr to “reset expectations” across the influenza vaccine, after the company’s shopper analysis discovered some Individuals misunderstand the advantages of the annual shot.

“People are more likely to perceive messages as credible and trustworthy if they set realistic expectations about what vaccines can and cannot do,” the CDC’s Sara Dodge Ramey instructed a panel of federal vaccine advisers at a meeting Friday.

Ramey stated the company’s new “Wild to Mild” marketing campaign had been created as the results of a dozen focus teams in June and July earlier this yr.

That led to them rolling out a marketing campaign this yr fastidiously crafted to “avoid messages that could be seen as a scare tactic,” she stated, acknowledging some voiced “fatigue” round speaking about essential steps to keep away from dying from respiratory illnesses this fall and winter.

“There were mixed feelings about vaccines. Some were adamant about getting all recommended vaccines. Some believed they were ineffective or unnecessary, with most landing in the middle of the two extremes,” she stated.

The brand new marketing campaign, which Ramey stated “had a soft launch” online in August, goals to emphasise “a strong and growing body of evidence that flu vaccination reduces the risk of serious outcomes in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.”

After enhancing over a number of years, the CDC’s surveys counsel charges of seasonal flu vaccination have largely plateaued nationwide following the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bit greater than half of Individuals stated they’d gotten the shot. Some age teams, like kids ages 5 via 17 years previous, reported decrease charges than earlier than the pandemic.

It comes as officers are bracing for a return of an uptick in infections over the colder months from three completely different viruses – COVID-19, flu, and RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus – that federal illness forecasters anticipate may pressure hospitals once more this yr.

Ranges of flu stay largely low in most elements of the nation, the CDC sayshowever have begun to climb in some jurisdictions. Some labs have additionally began to report growing optimistic checks of RSV in sufferers, particularly in the Southeast.

Emergency room visits with COVID-19 have been slowing in current weeks nationwide after a peak from a surge that began within the late summer season. Following summer season and fall waves, earlier years have seen renewed surges of the virus in the course of the colder months.

Past simply flu, Ramey stated the company can also be getting ready separate efforts to spice up consciousness across the “general pan-respiratory season.”

“The term ‘viral respiratory disease season’ seemed long and unnecessary and an escalation that felt scary to many. Most participants preferred ‘flu’ or ‘cold and flu’ season or ‘fall and winter,'” she stated.

The CDC’s recommendation on how you can keep away from catching and spreading these three viruses has not modified a lot since final yr. Nevertheless, for the primary time, all three viruses now even have new vaccines.

Just lately-approved RSV vaccines at the moment are out there for older adults and pregnant mothers. Redesigned COVID-19 and flu vaccines are additionally now rolling out for just about all Individuals.

“When vaccines were included in a list of prevention activities, some people pointed out that listing it first could detract from the value of the list, although they would be okay with seeing vaccines somewhere on the list, just not first,” Ramey stated.

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