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Van Buynder P.G.,University of Western Australia | Daly A.,Health Outcomes Assessment Unit | Woods E.,Advertising
Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses | Year: 2011

Objectives After a cluster of rapidly fulminant influenza related toddler deaths in a Western Australian metropolis, children aged six to 59 months were offered influenza vaccination in subsequent winters. Some parental resistance was expected and previous poor uptake of paediatric influenza vaccination overseas was noted. A marketing campaign addressing barriers to immunization was developed to maximise uptake.Design Advertising occurred in major statewide newspapers, via public poster displays and static 'eye-lite' displays, via press releases, via a series of rolling radio advertisements, via direct marketing to child care centres, and via a linked series of web-sites. Parents were subsequently surveyed to assess reasons for vaccination.Main Outcome Results The campaign produced influenza vaccination coverage above that previously described elsewhere and led to a proportionate reduction in influenza notifications in this age group compared to previous seasons.Conclusions Influenza in children comes with significant morbidity and some mortality. Paediatric influenza vaccination is safe, well tolerated and effective if two doses are given. A targeted media campaign can increase vaccine uptake if it reinforces the seriousness of influenza and addresses community 'myths' about influenza and influenza vaccine. The lessons learned enabling enhancements of similar programs elsewhere. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Mak D.B.,WA Health | Daly A.M.,Health Outcomes Assessment Unit | Armstrong P.K.,WA Health | Effler P.V.,WA Health
Medical Journal of Australia | Year: 2010

Objective: To assess pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza vaccination coverage in Western Australians, up to 31 January 2010. Design, setting and participants: Vaccination data for Western Australians aged 10 years and older were obtained from two sources: the WA Pandemic Influenza Vaccination Database (PIVD; which collected reports of pandemic influenza vaccinations from vaccination providers statewide) for the period 30 September 2009 to 31 January 2010, and the WA Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System (HWSS; a continuous population-based telephone survey) for the period 1 December 2009 to 31 January 2010. Data from the PIVD was used to impute vaccination coverage estimates for at-risk subpopulations not assessed in the HWSS interviews. Main outcome measures: Vaccination coverage of Western Australians aged 10 years and older and of subgroups targeted by the national pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza vaccination campaign. Results: A total of 171 789 pandemic influenza vaccinations were reported to the PIVD by 31 January 2010 and 88% of these were administered by 1 December 2009. Based on HWSS data, vaccination coverage of persons aged 10 years and older was 14.5% (95% CI, 12.6%-16.6%) and of persons aged 18 years and older was 15.3% (95% CI, 13.3%-17.6%). Based on PIVD data, coverage in adults ranged from 10.3% in pregnant women to 52.8% in health care workers. Conclusions: Our estimate of pandemic influenza vaccination coverage in the adult population of WA is comparable to the national estimate of 19%, but it did not reach levels considered sufficient to interrupt community transmission. Future influenza vaccination programs should target groups at increased risk of severe influenza, such as pregnant women.

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